Just in case anyone is still wondering…

Codex Amiatinus, image showing someone wearing white gloves

By Remi Mathis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not sure if anyone is still under the impression that the infamous white glove (or any other glove for that matter) is necessary when it comes to handling books or manuscripts. The idea that someone should wear gloves is relatively recent and rather persistent.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but these usually relate to the health of the handler (in the case of mould for example) rather than because it is better for the book or manuscript. Old photographs are another exception.

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Do I need to wear gloves in the archives? A helpful flow chart

To glove or not to glove… Although this funny chart comes from an archives blog, it touches upon a contentious issue in the world of historic and special collections libraries as well: the use of the “white glove”. For an article on common misperceptions about the use of these gloves, see http://archive.ifla.org/VI/4/news/ipnn37.pdf