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Subject: RFID tags on documents

RFID tags on documents

From: Daniel Fennessy <dfennessy<-at->
Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009
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I was referred to this list after contacting the AIC. I work for an
Argentine IT firm that is currently collaborating with the State's
National Archives in order to come up with a solution to implement a
tracing/security RFID system, much like those found in libraries, in
the colonial collection.

Normally, as with library books or older documents that are bound
together, an RFID tag can be fastened to the inside of the cover
without causing any harm to the piece. Our case presents a
particular problem as many of the archives are unbound and remain in
individual sheets, such as letters. Our fear is of course that an
RFID tag, in other words the adhesive of the label, would not only
be unsightly, but could damage the document. If only kept in a RFID
equipped folder, the document could be taken out, thus compromising
its security. I have thus far come across a couple of solutions, in
the Vatican and the Max Planck institute for instance where
pH-neutral tags have been added to books; however, I have yet to
come across a solution for our particular dilemma.

A number of questions come to mind: would even a pH-neutral adhesive
damage the paper? Is it advisable to put any type of adhesive on
manuscripts dating back to the 17th century? Have other archives
implemented anything similar?

As we seek to preserve these historical treasures while making them
more available to the public, any information or advice to further
this project would be greatly appreciated.

Daniel Fennessy
Buenos Aires, Argentina

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:67
                   Distributed: Friday, May 15, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-67-015
Received on Thursday, 14 May, 2009

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