Everyone at The National Archives – both staff and readers – has a responsibility and duty to preserve all types of documents in our care for users like yourself, now and in the future.
There are some general practices that should be followed by everyone:
Wash your hands before you start working and avoid using hand cream.
Try not to lick your fingers when turning pages.
Avoid leaning on or touching the document, use a paper marker to the text.
Use cotton gloves when handling photographs, and hold them by the edges.
Please keep the documents in the order in which you received them. Do not:
Remove individual items from files, volumes or boxes
De-tag any file
Attempt to re-file the items in your preferred order
While working with documents:
Use the reading aids provided to ensure that documents are fully supported
Documents should not hang off the edge of your desk or be held when read
Turn pages with care
Do not put items on top of documents
Use a soft leaded pencil only.
Use the pencil sharpeners provided outside the reading rooms.
Reading aids are available at clearly marked locations throughout the reading rooms. If you are having problems with a particular document i.e. if it is very heavy or too fragile, please contact a member of staff.