Sometimes when processing manuscript collections we archivists come across unique home storage systems. These slides from the Harold Putnam Photograph Collection have been stored in a waxed paper box with the Harold Putnam’s original filing system. Although FRESHrap may have kept the slides vitamin fresh for many years the slides will be moved to a less adorable, but more practical archival container. In the archives we store our photographic material in enclosures that have passed the photographic activity test (PAT.) The PAT basically uses accelerated aging to predict the interaction that will occur over time between the photograph and the enclosure. Photograph albums and scrapbooking supplies that have passed the PAT can even be found at retailers such as Target and Joanne’s Fabrics. Enclosures that have passed the PAT will always indicate as such on their packaging.
This project is supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.