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Archives - What They Are and How to Use Them

This is a general guide to using archival materials - what they are, where to find them, how they are organized, and how to use them. For questions about using the ISU Special Collections and University Archives specifically, click the "questions" tab.


In general:

  • Cool and low humidity environments are preferred.
  • Store materials in boxes that will protect the material from water and light damage
  • Store materials that need extra protection (fragile, torn, heavily used) in polyester sleeves
  • Store materials away from substances (i.e. food and water) that attract pests
  • Don't fold materials or let them slump within their containers
  • Consider photocopying news clippings because these decay very quickly

Resources for Storing

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Special Collections & University Archives
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University Library
Ames, IA 50011
515 294-6672