Alexander Architectural Archives Handling Guidelines

The Alexander Architectural Archives has a great variety of formats in its collections including: drawings, papers and photographic materials. We take special care in adhering to preservation standards, investing in archival housing and providing a controlled environment. Whenever items are removed from their housing, they are exposed to light, pollutants, changes in temperature and humidity, the oils of human hands, and the risks involved with movement. To minimize damage, we handle items as little as possible and do not browse collections. We ask your cooperation in adhering to the following guidelines for the safekeeping of records for generations to come.


  • Many items require special attention when viewed, moved, or scanned. A staff member will guide you in handling material. Personal devices may be used upon request. If at any time you have questions about handling materials or come across an item in question, please bring it to the attention of a staff member.


  • Archival material must be kept in the order and condition they are found. If the material appears to be out of order, please do not rearrange them. Please do not correct folds or dog-eared pages. Any concerns should be reported to a staff member.


  • When you handle documents, avoid touching surfaces more than is absolutely necessary. Human hands carry dirt and natural oils. Often a fingerprint is not seen at the time of contact, but will appear later etched into the surface of the document. Wash your hands frequently. Gloves must be worn upon request.


  • When handling documents, your hands should be free of other objects, such as pencils


  • Keep the material flat on the table at all times. Do not stack materials.


  • Do not write, lean, or place any object on the surface of any materials



You can apply these guidelines in caring for own personal archives. Thank you for your cooperation and enjoy your visit!