HANDS (THE CLEANSING OF)
Dusty has already explained that visitors to the archive are asked to wear stylish green gloves when handling the archives.
This is not required in the Orkney Room, but you will spy bottles of hand sanitiser dotted about the room. Users are asked to sanitise their hands before perusing the books. We have affixed these rather bossy seeming signs beside the bottles:
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR HANDS ARE PROPERLY DRY
BEFORE HANDLING THE BOOKS
Not just dry. Properly dry.
The reason we cannot recommend sanitiser before working with archives is that it is too harsh for our poor, delicate documents. We gently wash the search room tables with warm soapy water rather than anti-bac spray and sing softly to the archives as we unwrap them (which we did of course anyway.) We encourage the visitors to coo and/or sing to them too but uptake has been disappointingly low.
There are bottles of sanitiser in both staff and public areas, dispensers mounted on walls and little bottles in our bags and pockets. Our hands are really, really, really clean...