You can preserve the provenance of an item by including box numbers in your archival list and numbering and removing items one at a time for cataloging. Maureen Taylor suggests making a record of a box's contents by photographing each layer of the box as it is removed. Links to these photos can be added to your archival list.
|Looks like the evidence room at NCIS!|
It is hard to resist the temptation to paw through the box looking for photos or letters but you will be glad you did! I can't wait to see just what's been uncovered!
Taylor, Maureen A. Preserving your Family Photographs. Charleston: Picture Perfect Press, 2010.
Taylor, Maureen A. "Preservation of Photographs." Boone and Kenton County Public Libraries. The Photo Detective Workshop with Maureen Taylor. Boone County Public Library, Burlington. 21 May 2011.