Discover > Paper-based records

Paper-based records

Paper based records might include minutes, attendance records, letters, camp logs, pamphlets and newspaper articles.



What to keep:

·        If keeping group records there are certain records that you will have been asked to keep by HQ e.g. minutes, volunteer records and some information that will need to be logged with HQ for instance accident records. 

·        If you are creating a record of your groups’ activities consider what kinds of information may be useful or interesting in the future. 

·        As you collect new material make a note of what you are keeping and why, you may understand the significance but it may not be so obvious in the future!

·        If information is relating to an event make a note of who attended, what the event was, where and when.

·        If known make a list of people who appear in photographs, subjects aren’t always easy to identify 30 years on!


Caring for your collection:

·        It’s important to protect your records from heat, damp and light.  All of which can cause paper and ink to degrade over time.

·       Try and store records flat and unfolded as folds can cause weak points in papers as they age.

·       Plastic storage boxes will protect your records from damp and light and if storing records in the home are the best option.

·        Avoid using standard metal clips such as staples and paper clips as these may go rusty over time and cause damage and marks on the records.  If records need to be kept together buy brass clips as they won’t rust or bundle groups of papers together using cotton archive tape.

·        Don’t store records in plastic bags or stationary wallets as over time plastics can degrade and release damaging gas as well as stopping air circulating.

·        Try and keep your papers in their original order as this will give them context in the future.

·        To save you from having to go through groups of papers keep a list of what each folder contains at the front, this will save you time and protect papers from becoming worn.

·        If documents become damaged don’t try and repair them with sticky tape, this will dry out over time leaving marks on the paper.  To prevent further damage use an archival wallet to store your document and if necessary contact a specialist paper conservator.

·        As a back up record you could consider digitising your records.  This can be done with a basic home scanner.  Always scan to the highest setting and in colour.  This also means that if you want to use your records as part of an activity multiple copies can be printed and the originals preserved.



©2010 The Scout Association Archive. Allrights reserved.
Registered Charity numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland) Incorporated by Royal Charter.