How Are Historical Documents Preserved?

Connecting past and present is essential in order for one to find the right path towards future. It is for this reason why History is an important part of one's learning. In this manner, people are able to know how life came about and why they are now experiencing the independence they have. Tell-tales, written letters and pictures are some of the key items that most people hold on to in order to know about the past. These documents are the sole connection for one to better understand what indeed happened before. But it is amazing to see that after hundreds of years, such items remain as they are and enjoyed by everyone. So exactly how are historical documents preserved?

To begin with, such documents are indeed old. Along the course of time, their quality disintegrates, and documents get brittle and powders until they disappear. This is the reason why it is important that there should be a person who will ensure that the physical needs of such documents are attended to, especially at such delicate situation. But people will eventually have to see it, check it, and study it. This must be done while at the same time ensuring that the documents will be successfully kept of top quality.

There are environmental factors one must consider in preserving a document. To begin with, such documents must be prevented from getting moist and must be kept at a cool place all the time. The factors such as light, pollution, humidity and heat contribute in immediate disintegration of the documents. It is also important to stress that handling documents with bare hands will only help in the destruction of the document, which is why you should always use a soft brush whenever you clean them, and always neatly keep them in archival plastic bags. Take note however, that documents which used charcoal and pastels as ink are not advised to be kept in an archival plastic bag as it may only smudge what is written there.

How are historical documents preserved, especially if they are that of photographs? Truthfully, colored photographs, no matter what one do, eventually fades away. What was done instead was to ensure that the fading of the photographs will at the very least lessen by using acid free folders to keep them compiled.

Old documents are also prone to being attacked by pests and insects. For this, most documents that are very old enough to just suddenly crumble at slight touch are sealed on tight containers to prevent any insect from being able to get to it at any probable way.

And finally, historical documents are mostly kept on specially designed archival storage material. These boxes, folders and cabinets are specifically made and designed in order to store documents that are sensitive. Mostly, they are acid free in order to tolerate the specific needs of age old documents and keep them in top form. Documents on these storages are also kept flat, and are kept with cold temperatures in order to avoid humidity which could only cause molds to the documents and potentially destroy them.

Preserving historical documents are very important. It holds very great value not only in terms of fortune but also significantly to the present way the world is at present. By ensuring that these documents are still physically present, one may continue to use them as a reference in making further discoveries about the world, and most importantly, in creating necessary actions to ensure peace, equality and freedom all over the world.

Websites For Learning All About Historical Documents

Colonial Historical Documents
Declaration of Independence Historical Documents
US Constitution Historical Documents
  1. Articles of Confederation (1777)
  2. American Historical Documents
  3. Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
  4. The Emancipation Proclamation
  5. Gilder Lehrman Collection
  6. Interpreting the Declaration of Independence by Translation
  7. Journey Back In Time
  8. Launching of a New Constitution
  9. National Security Archive