Along Those Lines: The Basics of Archival Document Storage

In George G. Morgan’s “Along Those Lines” column, he has a great article, The Basics of Archival Document Storage that covers something that all of us run into, but that many don’t pay attention to – storing and caring for old documents. If you are like me, you have become the repository for many documents that others didn’t want or care about.


any people are unsure about how to store the documents they have collected in the course of their genealogical quest. There are a number of considerations in selecting the right storage containers, binders, file folders, and the like. You also have to be aware that anything printed on newprint can spell disaster to documents stored in close proximity to it. In “Along Those Lines …” this week, let’s examine binders, scrapbooks, and storage albums.

Most of the genealogical items you compile are paper-based materials. These include originals of letters, vital records, land and property records, books, diaries, journals, forms, and other documents. They also include photocopies you make when you visit libraries, archives, and courthouses. In order to ensure the longevity of these papers, you need to know about and recognize their natural enemies.

You really should read this article if you don’t already practice some form of safe storage for you genealogy/historical documents (and even if you do, you should read it anyway, it’s got a lot of good information).

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