Working along the shelves producing an electronic listing and performing an audit of our holdings, I was aware of the accumulated dust and carefully cleaned the material as I went. The cotton gloves I initially wore were quickly dirty and manual dexterity was reduced, I didn’t want to damage the pages so I abandoned the gloves and began washing my hands more frequently as I worked.
But this was not enough, last week my chin was infected. An unfortunate habit of stroking my chin while working, transferred a cocktail of dirt, pollutants, skin oils etc. Orders from my doctor to take the anti-biotics and don’t shave and the infection has almost cleared up.
I now have finger grip gloves and a bottle of hand sanitzer and a newly aquired respect for keeping archives and special collections environments as clean as possible.