Posted by: stackedfivehigh | September 25, 2010

No more staples

The reorganization of my files is complete, and it’s time to rehouse into acid-free folders and pull anything metal.  I find pulling staples and metal paperclips sort of meditative, though I’m sure it would get tedious after a bit.

Here’s a bit of archives vs. records management that I’ve just learned – in archives, we hate staples – it makes little holes in the paper, they rust over time, pulling them can be a nightmare on thin paper.  In my records management text, it suggests that you not use paperclips, which is what I’m steady replacing the staples with.

I would imagine the permanent preservation idea of the archives – combined with a lowered need for referencing/handling the papers makes paper clips best.  The need for preservation exceeds the increased cost of paperclips as well as the bulkiness.  With records management, depending on what you’re handling, many of the records are for rather short-term storage, and a staple is the best thing for keeping pages together.

It’s the little details that grab my attention, apparently. This week I’m learning about microforms.  I’ll admit, I’ve never thought much about microfilm – and by that I mean I’ve never spent much time thinking about it, nor did I much value it – but apparently it’s still the best method for long-term storage.



  1. I just learned that microfilm should be reliable for about 500 years. However, when my boyfriend was investigation the scans taken from microfilm for a digital library on witchcraft, the scans were hideous. I’m not sure if that was because of a poor quality image put on the microfilm or if the conversion from microfilm to digital was that bad.

    At Chapel Hill, they told us this past week that servers only last about 3 years and they’ll hit 200 TB by the end of the year, so they’re also struggling with what to do with their digital copies.

    • I’d guess it’s the scans, not the microfilm. Everyone I’ve talked to swears that stuff is excellent for quite some time.

      That’s crazy about the servers. I think there will be more movement to cloud storage, honestly. It will minimize physical storage complications.

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