Storage for Buttons, Pins, and Badges
Housing for a collection of several thousand political buttons previously stored loose or in plastic bags within boxes of varying sizes. This housing arrangement improves storage conditions and accessibility of the button collection.
Angela M. Andres
Special Collections Conservator
New York University Libraries
70 Washington Square South, Room LL2-25
New York, NY 10012
Photo & Illustrations: Laura McCann, Ariana Dunning
Buttons are affixed to placards of archival corrugated board lined on both sides with soft polyethylene foam. The foam is tacked to the board at the corners with linen thread, eliminating the need for adhesive. Two opposite corners are notched to allow placards to be easily lowered into or lifted out of the box, and placards are stacked inside standard archival document boxes.
Materials, Tools & Supplies
• Archival corrugated board (acid-free, lignin-free)
• 1/8-inch archival polyethylene foam
• Polyethylene zip-top bags
• Archival storage boxes
• Linen thread
For each placard, cut 1 piece of corrugated board and 2 pieces of foam (for the standard record cartons used in this project, placards are 11 inches by 14 inches). Trim two opposite corners off of each 3-layer stack (Fig.1), then tack the layers together at all four corners with a single large stitch of linen thread. Affix buttons to the placards with their own fasteners or, when fasteners are missing or damaged, place buttons in small poly zipper bags and tack the bags to placards with linen thread (Fig.2). Approximately 12 to 15 placards may fit inside a standard record carton (Fig.3).
While we used record cartons that integrated well into our existing shelf space, these placards may be custom-fitted to any size box that suits the needs of a particular space or collection.
This housing was previously discussed in the webinar, The Big, the Weird, and the Bulky: Housing Solutions for Objects in Library and Archival Collections, October 1, 2014, presented by Angela Andres and Laura McCann and hosted by ALCTS, Association for Library Collections and Technical Services.
A lengthier description of this button rehousing project was published by Ariana Dunning on The Back Table, the blog of New York University’s archives and special collections.
buttons, badges, archives