Keeping It All Together: Paper Fasteners at the National Archives
June 6, 2013 9:48 AM   Subscribe

"I think about what has kept me here at the National Archives for all this time. It couldn’t be the bone-wearying monotony of shuffling heavy cartons of records from here to there...No, there’s something else that gets me in the door every morning. Fasteners." A brief survey of various paper clips and their ilk encountered by employees at the National Archives.

If that's not enough on the history of fasteners, there's always the Early Office Museum.
posted by marxchivist (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:53 AM on June 6, 2013

OMG! My friend the archivist was talking to me about her love of old paper clips! I will have to send this to her.
posted by chapps at 9:59 AM on June 6, 2013

What kind of monster staples in the middle like that?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 10:26 AM on June 6, 2013

I e-mailed the author because I really wanted a copy of that photo of the fastener collection. He was generous enough to reply. Thanks Alan Walker!
posted by amtho at 10:47 AM on June 6, 2013

The folks who work at the National Archives, and I've encountered them at Archives, Archives II, and then at non-DC area Archives locations, are generally fantastic people to work with and make researching at the facilities quite painless as researching old documents can go. Hurray Archive employees! As for the topic of the posts, I've only encountered some of those fasteners, I feel insufficient.
posted by Atreides at 11:07 AM on June 6, 2013

Somewhere on Sesame Street, the monobrowed, sallow muppet pauses and gives a long, shuddering sigh that could almost, almost be a low and hungry moan...
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:37 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

As someone who has spent many hours in archives, this is very relevant to my interests.
posted by sfred at 12:13 PM on June 6, 2013

But a single owl clip among all the butterflies ...
posted by tilde at 1:00 PM on June 6, 2013

No red tape?
posted by Jahaza at 3:00 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

See also: the Bodleian Library's collection of pins.
posted by verstegan at 3:50 PM on June 6, 2013

I have always been partial to the treasury tag. I think I still have couple of boxes around somewhere, carefully imported as they are not common in the US, though readily available in the UK.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:25 PM on June 6, 2013

My boss, who worked in and directed archives for a number of years, has a water cooler bottle full of paperclips and various fasteners that have been removed from documents over the years. One of my prize possessions from some work in an archive is a piece of original government red tape.
posted by gudrun at 4:07 PM on June 8, 2013

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