Posted by: stackedfivehigh | October 10, 2010

So many staples

Just a quick note to share how much I hate staples.  Sure, they’re useful sometimes, but you never need to staple every paper twice.  I promise.  I’m removing staples and metal paperclips and rehousing to acid-free folders at the museum.  It’s quite relaxing except when you have twisted staples that make you go crazy.

Apparently one of the old archivists used to keep all of the staples she’d removed in little plastic containers, just to see how much she’d removed.  It was suggested that I do the same, but I’m good just tossing them into the trash.

So remember kids – don’t staple, and keep your files in order by subject, not chronology.



  1. In my archives class, we just read Greene and Meissner along with Ham, Rapport, and a couple others about how to get through the process of arranging and describing. It seems that your archives believes strongly in removing all metal fasteners… Is the physical environment good? At the archives I worked at over the summer, their environment was horrid since the city refused to give them climate controlling abilities.

    • Amanda – Yes, very strong belief in removing all metal. There is a good physical environment, though some areas are more tightly controlled than others. The manuscript collection I’m dealing with now has papers going back to the 1940s and there’s definitely some rusting in the staples. I can’t imagine trying to preserve documents without some level of climate control. That’s horrible.

  2. I just discovered your blog – I love it! I’m a full-time mom, part-time MLIS student and aspiring archivist as well, so I love your posts.

    My archives class just read the Greene and Meissner article as well and had a heck of a discussion about paper clips and staple removal, so this post was especially timely. I’ve posted the link in my class forum, you may end up with some new subscribers. 🙂

    • That’s so cool, Rosemary. The parenting/school balance is…interesting 🙂
      So what do you think about staples?

  3. It certainly is an interesting balance, isn’t it? On a tangent, at least my 11-year old’s schoolwork is always sourced in proper APA format. 😉 I tell my kids archivists are the Indiana Jones of the Library.

    The staples discussion. I find it interesting – I can see how they can degrade the papers they’re attached to, especially since I just received a mailng with rusted staples holding my periodical together! I work in publishing, and I can also attest to rotted rubber bands staining manuscripts. Those are disposable for us; we toss them once the galleys come in, but for archives? I can absolutely see where it becomes an issue.

    On the other hand, the access being severely limited because of staple removal? It’s hard to say yes to. I know it’s a time/money/staff issue; it’s easy for me to say, “Get interns! Write a grant!” but I haven’t been in that world yet (soon, hopefully). I feel like it’s a hard call for me to make, but personally I think that a cursory look should help determine if the attachment devices are in decent enough condition to warrant a pass in the short term.

  4. Hmm… I posted a response here earlier – do you moderate your comments, or was it eaten by teh InterWebs?

    • It seems to glitch and make me moderate randomly. I’ll get on with trying to fix that. again.

  5. I agree I hate staples too, and we must remove them as the majority are already deteriorating and rather rusty when the material arrives at the archives, so there is no way they can remain attached. I often wonder why someone hasn’t invented plastic type staples, perhaps we archivists should encourage some new creatve invention

    • I encourage you to get on with patenting the plastic staples!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: