PRESERVING THE PAST: While the Wade Center collects materials for the use and enjoyment of the public, it also seeks to preserve items so that future generations may benefit from them as well. From a fragile handwritten letter to a newly published book purchased yesterday, each item is treated to maintain good physical condition. The archival staff stores items securely and evaluates how to reduce the effects of time as materials age naturally. The three factors considered when deciding how best to preserve materials are: Environment, Storage, and Handling.