8.2 Affixing Labels to Folders and Boxes

February 10, 2021 - 10:48am by Anonymous (not verified)

Labels for regular size folders should be affixed to the upper flap of the folder. The label containing the call number must go on the left. If you have more than one label, the label containing content information may go either in the center or on the right, at the discretion of the archivist. Whether a collection or series requires one, two, or three labels per folder is also at the discretion of the archivist; consult with your supervisor as necessary.

One person should be able to label approximately 90 folders in one hour. 

The labels cannot be removed easily once attached; work carefully to avoid accidentally affixing labels improperly. Make sure students are properly instructed, and review their work carefully in order to catch mistakes or sloppy work.

Labels should be neat, consistent, and in proper vertical and horizontal alignment. Any labels that don’t fully adhere should be reprinted. The same is true for any labels that are hanging off the edge of a folder or box.

Labels for document boxes should be straight and centered on the end panel of the box, placed about 1/2” up from the bottom of the box. Labels for 2” boxes (half hollingers) should be securely adhered on the sides to prevent their sticking to adjacent boxes and being torn off.

Labels for Paige boxes should be centered in the pre-printed box for the label on one short end of the box.

Labels for custom boxes should be placed in the upper left hand corner of the front face of the box. Place them in the same order as on a folder, top to bottom, rather than left to right. In these cases, omit a folder for the item.

NOTE: When requesting a custom box for an item that is to be housed in the collection, not free-standing on the shelf, be sure that you do NOT request vendor-produced labels for the box: the box should be labeled only with the folder labels produced from the finding aid.

For volumes that will be free-standing on the shelf, a vendor-produced call number label should be requested, to go on the spine of the box (as described below), to make identification on the shelf easier. However, you should also place the folder labels for the item on the custom box, as described above. In these cases, do not order a vendor-produced spine title label: it is unnecessary, and may cause confusion about whether the volume is to be housed in a box or free standing on the shelves.

Call number labels produced by custom box vendors should be affixed as follows:

  • Place the call number label a consistent 1/2” up from the bottom of the box, so that you can scan the shelves at a consistent height and see the call numbers clearly. Overly long labels should be trimmed, to a consistent length, approximately 1.5”, unless the call number is exceptionally long. If you have multiple volumes in a series, place the labels so that the top line of the call number is aligned with those of other volumes in the set. The 1/2” at the bottom may vary as a result.

Folder labels for items housed in simple wrappers (e.g. 2- or 4-flap wrappers, including tuxedo wrappers, made by the Conservation Studio) should be placed on the folder in which the wrappered piece is placed, not on the wrapper itself.

Labels for oversize folders (to be stored in oversize boxes) and broadside folders (to be stored in the broadside cabinets) should be put along the folded edge. These will be stored in boxes or drawers, as appropriate, with folded edge facing out.

Boxes classified as Oversize require two labels: one in the middle of the short side and the other in the middle of the long side. Both labels are placed on the bottom portion of the box; for flat “pizza” boxes, labels are placed on the lid.

Rolls should be labeled on the end of the exterior package.

Portfolios should be labeled on the short end, with the label running at right angles to the spine, so that it can be read easily from above. Place the labels immediately to the right of the spine edge. The shelving location of those longer than 42” depends on the depth of the portfolio. They may be stored in broadside cabinets if the portfolio is shallow enough to fit in the drawers, but if not, they are shelved in the designated “rolled storage” ranges.

Framed items are hung in designed framed storage ranges, and should be labeled on the back of the frame OR by affixing the labels to an artifact tag, and tying or otherwise affixing the tag to the frame. Always consult with the appropriate curator about the value of the frame before affixing anything to it.

An artifact that is not in a box should be labeled by tying a tag to the item, and affixing the appropriate folder labels to the tag. If the artifact is in a box, then the box should be labeled.