The Good News
- Plain copy paper from Office Depot is alkaline. So I don't have to buy whatever expensive paper the archival suppliers are selling.
- My plastic document sleeves are good. Polypropylene sleeves are good but others are acidic - sometimes you can even smell chlorine or something awful when you open a sleeve and sniff and those are definitely acidic.
The Bad News
- One of my cardboard document storage boxes is a leftover from U-Haul from my latest move, and it's acidic. But all the boxes I bought from an archival supplier are alkaline. So this news is just a little bit bad and mostly good.
The Ugly News
- My manila folders (at least some of them) are acidic. No good storing my genealogy records in acidic folders, so I'll replace all of those. I had made one folder for each ancestor and stuck a label on it with the ancestor's name, dates, and Grandma number, so I'll have to re-do all those labels. Office Depot sells non-acidic manila folders that are a bit more expensive, but not as bad as the ones from archival suppliers, so I'll order a box of those.
- Always look for "acid-free" when you are buying genealogy supplies. You don't want to leave a yellowed, crumbling mess to posterity after all the work you've done on research.
- Test materials with a pH pen before you buy and use a bunch of them.