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Preservation

Storing collections: recording location and labelling

It is useful to have a locations list, which should tell you the current location for each item or file in your archive. It should have a location code whose format is easily distinguishable from the reference number of the archive collections. You could format it by storage area, then bay, then shelf, for example: Storage Room A, bay 2, shelf 4, could be written as location A/2/4.

Record an item’s location code on its catalogue entry, then on your location list make sure that item’s catalogue reference number is recorded next to that location. This allows you to cross-reference between the two and make sure you have the right details. If you change an item’s location, make sure you update it in both places as soon as possible.

View an example location list


Label each document individually with a 2B pencil, stating its reference number eg HS/1/1/2.

Each document in a file should be kept together if possible (unless they are different formats), eg putting all the documents in the file HS/1/1 into a number of folders. If there is more than one folder, label each one with what is in there, eg. HS/1/1/1-4 into one folder and HS/1/1/5-8 into another. Number each folder so you know how many there should be, eg “1 of 2” and “2 of 2”

Fit as many folders into a box as will fit comfortably. On the box you can put an adhesive label with the contents in, for example if the box contains the above two folders, you can put ‘HS/1/1/1-8’

Put the box in its intended location, eg shelf A/2/4. Each shelf should be labelled for clarity.

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