Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When Paper Clips Go Bad

As part of the Massachusetts Room Preservation Project I have been re-housing and boxing collections to protect from light, dust and other calamities. Recently I came across several items from the 1920s that had paper clips inside that had rusted.

The images at left show the extent to which rust can damage and discolor paper. All of the paper clips were carefully removed, along with the remaining specks of rust.

Aside from rust, paper clips can cause paper to warp and tear, so before you add one to your personal or professional archives, take a second and think of these photos.

- Lacy Crews Stoneburner, Preservation Librarian