University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University Library
University Library, UW-Stevens Point
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Phone: 715-346-2586 | Room 506, University Library

Archives Hours:

Monday - Friday, 7:45-noon & 1:15-4:30

Due to a small Archives staff and unanticipated eventualities, patrons are urged to call ahead to verify public hours for a given day or week.

The Nelis R. Kampenga University Archives & Area Research Center


Preservation Basics Keep family records in a stable environment. Avoid storing documents and memorabilia in areas subject to extremes in temperature and humidity such as basements, garages, and attics. Do not shelve collections above radiators, on fireplace mantels, or near water pipes. Avoid displaying or storing items against outside walls where condensation may occur. A combination of heat and humidity encourages mold growth and insect activity. Keep items out of direct light. Sunlight and fluorescent light are the causes of fading, discoloration, and other chemical changes. Provide a storage environment that is clean, cool, and dark to assure protection for paper records, photographs, and other memorabilia.

Reversibility Sound preservation practices allow you to reverse past attempts to preserve materials without causing damage to them. Whatever steps are taken to protect personal records should not permanently alter or damage them. For example, using a pen or felt tip marker to label an item damages it by staining or bleeding through of the ink. A no. 2 pencil is recommended for labeling. Lamination is another process that is not reversible. The plastic coating permanently bonds to the document, and attempts to remove the lamination destroys the surface of the original document.

Identification Label the backs of documents or photographs with information about the date of the event, the source of the item, names and ages of participants, a description of the event, and location. Use a no. 2 pencil.


  • Protect documents from light and dust by storing them in acid-free folders and document storage boxes.
  • Do not repair torn documents with adhesive tape or rubber cement. They will eventually stain and damage documents. Removable stickies (e.g. Post-it Notes) also leave a residue that stains even after removal. Archival quality tapes are available.
  • Do not use paper clips, staples, or straight pins to fasten items. They eventually rust, stain, and tear paper. Do not use rubber bands. They harden and bond to paper. Store collections of documents together in archival quality file folders and boxes.
  • Use copies of originals for display. Protect the originals by storing them in archival sleeves, folders, and boxes.
  • Photocopy newspaper clippings onto buffered paper. Newspaper is highly acidic and becomes brittle and discolored.

Scrapbooks and Photo Albums

  • Store and display photographs in 3-ring binders with archival quality sleeves. If you do not use sleeves, attach photographs and postcards with archival photo corners such as Mylar or paper mounting corners. (Sleeves are sold under a variety of trade names including polyethylene, polypropylene, and Mylar. Photo shops may sell them. Do not purchase sleeves labeled “archival,” which are not identified by trade name and never use vinyl (PVC or polyvinyl chloride) for storing your materials. If the sleeve smells like plastic, it is not of archival storage quality.
  • Use white or off-white, acid free, 80# paper as pages in the scrapbook. Display on one side of the page only. Leave a blank page at the beginning and end of the book for support and protection. An artist’s sketchpad works well for a scrapbook. Be sure that it is made of 100% cotton fiber.


  • Handle negatives and photographs by their edges or use clean cotton gloves. Hands have oils on them that stain images.
  • Do not store photos in magnetic photo albums. The photos are stained and damaged by the adhesives and plastics used in them. Use the photo album suggested above.
  • Label photographs on the reverse side of the image along the margins. Use a no. 2 pencil for labeling.

Preservation Products for Preserving Family Records and Photographs**

Call or email these companies for free catalogs or check their web pages:

Archival Products
P.O. Box 1413
Des Moines, IA 50305-1413
Light Impressions
P.O. Box 22708
Rochester, NY 14692-2708
Hollinger Corporation
P.O. Box 8360
Fredericksburg, VA 22404-8360

University Products
517 Main St.
 P.O. Box 101
Holyoke, MA 01041-0101


For all types of restoration work contact:

Etherington Conservation Center, Inc.
7609 Business Park Drive
Greensboro, NC 27409


*These are merely general guidelines. Types of materials vary as do their conditions. The UWSP Archives is not responsible for any problems or damage that may occur if you follow any of the tips outlined above.

**The UWSP Archives does not endorse the companies listed above. Our intent is to provide a service to researchers who frequently ask about preservation products and services. Be advised that many other companies offer preservation products and services.

2004 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University Library
900 Reserve Street | Stevens Point, WI 54481
7153463038 (administration) | 7153462540 (circulation) | 7153462836 (reference)

This page last modified: Monday, January 30, 2012