Once you have selected the enclosures and boxes, papers should
be prepared for storage. Remove extraneous materials such
as paper clips, rubber bands, wrapping material, old folders,
and any other material that is not pertinent. If foreign matter
(such as pressed flowers) must be saved, place it in a
Unfold and flatten papers wherever possible without causing
damage to the folds. Remove letters from envelopes. If the
paper is brittle or inflexible, it may need to be humidified
before unfolding. Remove surface soil with a soft brush. Prints,
drawings, and extremely fragile or valuable items should be
treated by a conservator.
Isolate newsprint, as it is highly acidic and will stain
adjacent paper. Replace newspaper clippings and faxes with
copies on alkaline paper or place in a separate envelope.
Note any badly damaged items and place within individual
folders, and consider professional conservation treatment.
If it is necessary to place identifying information on the
object itself, use a No. 2 pencil and write on the verso or
the lower right margin. Repeat the identification on storage
materials in pencil or by typing. Never apply labels directly
to a document or work of art.
Label boxes with adequate information about their contents.
This curtails unnecessary rifling through the documents.