Preservation Section Meeting 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended the
Preservation Section Meeting 2017 in Portland, OR.

We were happy to see so many colleagues attend our panel discussion and participate in the group brainstorming session following the panel.

As we announced at the meeting, we are working on compiling a document of minimal and preferred handling guidelines for use in special collections and archives reading rooms. We began with a group brainstorming session at our meeting to answer the following questions:

  • What are our essential 5 rules for handling special collection materials in the reading room?
  • What is the most important preservation or handling message to convey to patrons?
  • When is special handling of collection material “too much to ask” or “too much to expect” of our visitors?
  • What handling issue causes the biggest problem in the reading room?
  • How does staffing, physical space, and time limits restrict how we teach handling of special collection materials?
  • How can positive language create a welcoming environment for all patrons, regardless of research experience?

Notes from brainstorming groups are attached below. Stay tuned for additional updates as the Section Steering Committee begins early drafts of the guidelines document. 

Would you like to help? Contact to volunteer.


Are you currently using printed or online handling guides, videos, tutorial scripts, or other tools to teach patrons about handling? Please send it our way! We will compile a group of “handling guidelines” examples as a web resource.

View our current handling guidelines library here.

You may send handling guidelines and other related material to


We had a great time at ARCHIVES 2017: alike/different with many wonderful sessions on preservation. Thank you to Fletcher Durant, one of our Members-At-Large, for pulling together a preservation related schedule from ARCHIVES 2017: alike/different, in Portland, OR. The schedule is still available here:

SAA ARCHIVES 2017_brainstorming session notes.docx16.03 KB
SAA ARCHIVES 2017_Preservation Section Meeting Agenda.pdf98.2 KB