Everyone has a valued news clipping or a family photo made long ago. The clipping probably is yellowed, and the photo has faded.
The Archivo Nacional faces this problem, too, but exponentially much greater than the average homeowner. That is why there is a department of conservation.
In celebrating the Día Internacional de los Archivos, restorers and conservators at the archive are inviting the pubic to bring in documents and books to learn how to care for them adequately.
The archive is where all old government’s documents, many photos and even notary books are kept, as well as historical items.
The open house is June 6 at the Zapote facility.
Workers there call the conservation department the Hospital de los recuerdos or “hospital of memories.” One of the experts there is Carlos Pacheco. He gave some tips in a news release.
He is not fond of adhesive tape, which he says has a strong glue that causes damage that is not reversible. Many persons incorrectly use
the tape to repair rips or tears in valuable documents. The same damage comes from photo albums that have sticky pages, he said.
He said he recommends storing photos separately in paper envelopes or simply digitizing the image for storage in a computer.
Pacheco also said that wooden bookcases attract certain varieties of insects that might also damage books.
Humidity and lack of air circulation are big dangers to books and other documents, he said.
June 6 he will be among the experts showing how to use a damp cloth and alcohol to clean old books.