One question we often get in the Waterman Research Center from researchers handling manuscripts is, shouldn’t I be wearing gloves? Here at CHS we have determined that clean hands are less damaging to the documents than gloves would be. Note the emphasis on clean. Your fingers are highly sensitive to the edges of pages, can feel if a document is particularly weak or beginning to tear. Gloves reduce that sensitivity and could lead to further damage due to decreased dexterity and sensation. However, if you are using photographs, handling textiles or furniture, looking at works of art on paper . . . and the list goes on . . . you will be asked to wear gloves. In these cases, the oils on your fingers are more dangerous than the gloves. Continue reading
Are you Mickey Mouse?