Course:3: Processing
Lesson:Lesson 3: Preservation
Topic:Maps, Architectural Drawings and Other Oversized Documents

Maps, Architectural Drawings and Other Oversized Documents


  • Support the records on a stable surface when they are being moved.
  • Do not lean on or write on top of records.
  • Do not use pressure sensitive tape for mending.
  • Avoid the use of paper clips and staples.

Processing Tasks

If part of a standard sized collection:

(1) Remove the oversized items.

(2) Insert a separation sheet within the collection where the item was removed describing what was removed and noting where it is stored.  

(3) Store the separated item appropriately.

(4) Label it so that it indicates the collection it came from.

If possible,

(1) Group by size.

(2) Enclose in appropriately sized, labeled folders. Map folders are available from archival suppliers in a variety of sizes to accommodate oversize materials.

book enclosure
Large sized, archival quality folders are available from suppliers.

Store folders horizontally (flat) in large sized, archival
quality boxes or in metal storage cabinets designed for
maps and oversized materials. The upper shelf in the above picture shows good storage practice Ė the materials are stored horizontal and flat. The lower shelf shows materials stored horizontally, but bent Ė this should be avoided!

more storage

If flat storage is not possible, and the documents are
flexible, store oversized materials rolled, wrapped in
large sheets of acid free paper, and placed in archival quality

Oversize archival quality containers can be prohibitively expensive. If you canít afford them, just roll flexible oversize materials and tie them with white polyester ribbon. Store them horizontally if at all possible as this minimizes damage.

If you must store them vertically, donít allow the materials to be overcrowded or crushed. Labels can be created using alkaline paper and attached using inert clips.


Resources icon

The Northeast Document Conservation Center offers many helpful Technical Leaflets covering storage and handling of a number of different types of materials. Click here to access. 

The Henry Ford Museum offers The Care and Preservation of Documents and Works of Art on Paper, along with a list of suppliers. Click here.

 Dig Deeper Into This:
NEDCC Leaflet Storage Solutions for Oversized Paper Artifacts 

wide form jackets on shelving
Wide Format Jackets for storing oversized documents are available from various suppliers and can be custom-sized as well.

 Maps in drawers
Flat storage in drawers is an ideal form of storage for maps and other oversized documents.

 improperly rolled & stored maps
ďDonít store rolled items in ways that can damage them.

 Maps rolled around wooden dowels
Maps should be rolled around alkaline tubes, not wooden dowels.