Monthly Archives: January 2015

Pests and Susceptible Archival Material

Some archival material is more susceptible to pests than others. Here are some materials found in archives to monitor for pest infestations:

  • Paper
    • Paper often has gelatin based sizing (sizing is what makes paper slightly water repellant, smooth, and durable). This high protein gelatin sizing is nutritious for pests.
  • Bound Material
    • Leather, vellum, parchment, wood, rabbit skin glue, isinglass glue, and cloth are all found in bound material and targeted by pests, such as silverfish and mice, as sources of food.
  • Leather
    • Leather, and the residual products left on leather from the tanning process and leather dressings, attract pests. There are sugars and salts present that attract beetles, rodents, and silverfish.
  • Gelatin, and Albumen Photographs
    • These photographic processes incorporate high-protein materials such as gelatin and egg whites, making them attractive to pests such as silverfish.

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New Year’s Resolutions for your Archives

New Year’s resolutions are goals for the upcoming year. Why not make disaster preparedness goals for your archival institution this year? Here are some ideas from the Flood Advisory Programme:

  • Update your institution’s emergency response plan
  • Ensure you institution has an emergency response kit, including supplies and safety equipment
  • Provide staff with emergency response training, such as mock disasters
  • Contact local emergency responders, such as your fire department, to discuss optimal emergency response strategies
  • Discuss emergency preparedness with your local heritage organizations to create an emergency response network
  • Research local vendors and conservators regarding their services and fees during disaster recovery
  • Research what types of disasters are covered by your institution’s insurance policy

Crystal Ice Cream billboard, 1936, Glenbow Archives, NB-55-369

Share your organization’s New Year’s resolutions in the comments!

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