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A Genealogist In The Archives: Storing 3-Ring Binders

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Storing 3-Ring Binders

We are in the second week of January and for those of you who have made a commitment to "Get Organized" in 2017, I hope you are still going strong!

One aspect of organizing that I would like to address is how to store 3-ring binders. Now, this may seem like a very simple idea and you might be thinking "Everyone knows how to store 3-ring binders", but do you?

Family Genealogy Binders, Houston County, TN. Archives


If you use 3-ring binders to organize your genealogical records, do you store them upright on the shelf or do you lay them down on their side? Most of you will say that you store them upright because it takes up less room and that is the conventional way to store 3-ring binders.



However, the best way to store them so that the records that are contained in them do not get damaged is to store them laying on their side.

When you store 3-ring binders upright or on their end, it puts pressure on the binding and weakens the strength of that binding. Over time, those binders will become weak and will start to sag and eventually will start to break down. Also, when 3-ring binders are stored upright, the pages that are stored inside will sag. This means that if you have put your genealogy documents into these 3-ring binders, they will also sag and could get damaged by being put in this position for a prolonged period of time.

The best way to store 3-ring binders is on their side, making sure all the pages are laying flat and not folded or bent in anyway.




Storing 3-ring binders in this manner will take up more room but in the long run it will keep your family genealogical records safe.


REMEMBER: IT'S NOT ALL ONLINE, CONTACT OR VISIT AN ARCHIVE TODAY!

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12 comments:

  1. I have 3 ring binders and have been storing them standing, like in your article. I often wondered if this was the best way and from this article I see it isn't so I will be changing that and lay them flat. Thanks for this great article.

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    1. Janet, I am so glad my post helped you. So many don't like to lay their 3-ring binders down because it takes up too much room. But if you want to preserve your documents, it's the best way!

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  2. Sometimes it is the simple things. Thanks for the info.

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  3. Can you stack binders that are laying on their sides, or will that also cause the binders to break down?

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    1. Linda, yes you can stack them. Just make sure all the pages are lying flat. I would also encourage you to stack them offsetting. By that I mean, put the first binder down and then when you put the second binder on top of the first, face the binding the other way so that they stack better. Hope that makes sense?

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  4. I didn't know that standing them upright would cause damage to the spin of your binder. I guess I need to lay my binder flat on my shelve too. I only have one binder of my paternal grandfather side in a binder my two grandmothers family tress are in folders with each family surname of their families filed in a filing system in my filing cabinet I have. I hope to one day put them in a binder to be easy to get to them and update my tree when need it.

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    1. Justie, yes, over time the binder will weaken and start to sag which can cause your documents to sag and could get damaged. Thank You for reading my blog.

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  5. Thanks for your article I learned something new. For the ones where you put the spine to the back of the shelf when you are alternating the binders, what do you recommend doing so that you know what binder it is without having to pull it out to look?

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    1. Janet, yes that can be a problem. I would suggest that you put a label or something on the shelve in front of the binders stating what is in that stack.

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  6. Very interesting article. I recently bought all new folders. It was finally time to put the old ones to rest until I could make new covers for them. I looked at them in my secretary for 30 years with all due pleasure everyday because I knew what was inside them. Now I will put new covers on them and fill them up again with more family history. Oh, I have always stored mine " standing " . Haven't had one break yet.lucky I guess ? Can't wait to see what you tell us next, I'm always in for learning something new , even at my age !!!

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