“Why don’t we wear white gloves when handling archival materials?”
According to the article Misperceptions about White Gloves by Dr. Cathleen A. Baker and Randy Silverman first published the journal International Preservation News(December 2005 issue) and reprinted at https://www.betweenthecovers.com/btc/articles/49. The authors deconstruct the myth that bare hands damage paper. They state that there is no scientific evidence that the oils on skin nor sweat would transfer effect significant change in materials.
“Wearing gloves actually increases the potential for physically damaging fragile material through mishandling, and this is especially true for ultra thin or brittle papers that become far more difficult to handle with the sense of touch dulled. Measures must be taken to reduce collection risks through instruction and example, we submit, but not through the use of gloves.”
Washing hands is the safest way to protect materials that are being handed.
The more you know.