handling archival materials using foam supports



Please exercise the greatest care and defer to instructions given by staff when handling materials. Ask a staff member if you need help or advice in handling any item (leave the materials at the desk, someone will come to you). In this video you will learn the basics of how to orient your work space while working in the reading room and proper handling guidelines for archival materials at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Handling archival materials with foam supports

Key Points for Handling Materials

  • Users may have one box or volume at their table at a time. Please remove only one folder from the box at a time, use the folder marker provided by staff, and be sure to maintain the order and arrangement of any unbound material.
  • Use pencils only to take notes. Do not mark, trace or take notes on top of any library or archival materials.
  • Place materials flat on tables or on angled foam supports provided by staff. Do not bend, press down, or otherwise manipulate or rearrange materials.


  • Do not lean on or place anything on top of materials aside from book weights. Use only bookmarks provided by staff when needed, as other items may cause damage and stress to the material.
  • Gloves, provided by staff, must be worn when handling photographic materials.
  • Refrain from making any repairs to items. Any material in need of repair should be brought to the attention of staff.
  • Please ask for help or advice anytime!
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