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If you are planning on conducting research in our Washington, D.C. area or St. Louis facilities, this pilot may affect you!


The National Archives and Records Administration is announcing a biodegradable nitrile gloves pilot program in AI, AII, and St. Louis research rooms, beginning April 3, 2017.


The pilot will last for 60 days. NARA conservation staff are studying the advantages of using nitrile gloves in place of cotton gloves by researchers and staff. Nitrile gloves provide several advantages that protect the records during handling by improving tactile sensitivity and eliminating lint residue on records and images. Unlike cotton gloves, nitrile gloves do not allow moisture to seep onto records.


Researchers will only use the nitrile gloves when handling records for which NARA already requires gloves be used. Researchers handling loose photographic materials not housed in plastic protective enclosures (with the exception of the Still Pictures Research Room, College Park, where disposable gloves are always worn) including photographic prints, negatives, slides and transparencies, lantern slides, cased photographs, photo albums, all film reels (including aerial, motion picture, microfilm), microfiche, three-dimensional metal objects or any other artifacts, are required to wear disposable gloves supplied by NARA.


Nitrile gloves will be distributed at a self-service station located at the research room monitoring desk.  Research room staff will assist researchers in the use of the disposable nitrile glove sizing chart. If needed, on a case by case basis, cotton gloves may be provided to researchers with a sensitivity to nitrile.


Researchers will be required to dispose of used gloves at the monitor station when finished wearing the gloves or when exiting the research room.


If you have questions or comments regarding the nitrile gloves pilot, please contact:


At St Louis; Whitney Mahar, 314-801-9069 or


At AI; Trevor Plante, 202-357-5287 or


At AII; Michael Knight at 301-837-0475 or