How many of us have thought that white cotton gloves are a must for the safe handling of precious documents? What do you think when you see archival documents being handled with white gloves on television?
Well, until I became a Conservator at The National Archives, I hadn’t really questioned the need for them; when I saw the white gloves in the media I assumed that they indicated the document was being well treated and cared for.
But this isn’t necessarily the case. And from now on crews filming at The National Archives will have to follow the same rules for handling documents as those in our reading rooms – they will have to remove their white gloves!
Why, you ask? Well, it’s important we give out a consistent message that reflects best practice when handling original documents. It is confusing when we say one thing on site and another on TV. This also brings us in line with other large institutions with similar collections. If you are interested in the thinking behind the decision to ditch the gloves, read on… Continue reading »