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Rolled and folded records are carefully flattened and placed in appropriate containers. This is to prevent damage caused by repeated folding and unfolding that occurs with use.

Rolled and folded records are carefully flattened and placed in appropriate containers. This is to prevent damage caused by repeated folding and unfolding that occurs with use.

The Storage Areas

Preservation measures

While it is impossible to completely protect the records from the chemical and mechanical processes that threaten, several steps are taken to lessen the harm.

Acid: The most comprehensive protection would include a systematic deacidification of all records. This could consist of running the records through a liquid bath with a high alkaline content. Alkaline is the natural opposite of acid and therefore helps to balance the pH value. Unfortunately, this process is prohibitively expensive for most archives. The Archives uses the more common and affordable alternative of employing alkaline buffered or acid free boxes, folders, envelopes, and sheets as well as chemically inert film/microfilm spools and cans. While not perfect, these measures are cost effective efforts to expand the lifespan of the records.

Mechanical and chemical sources: The best measure against these threats is removal of the causes. After records are transferred to the Archives, staff and volunteers prepare them for public access. In some cases the records are microfilmed. Preparation includes carefully removing paper clips, staples, and other fasteners and rubber bands as well as any non-record materials. Records that have been rolled or folded are carefully opened and placed in archival quality folders and boxes where the folds relax over time. Some records are preserved using a process of encapsulation in which a document is placed between layers of polyester and then sealed. This helps provide physical support for fragile records.

Delta On to microfilming and imaging

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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