I recently added a new piece to my archival kit, which I will share with you here, so we can geek out together. A few people in the archive have noticed my new toy, and after trying it out they usually fall in love. Yet, as a proud archive rat I realize that most people, including my loved ones, do not care about archival documents nor my archival toys.
The item in question is a foldable 5X magnifying glass. The great thing about this glass is that you can place it on the document, right where you want, and show someone else what you want them to inspect. This means that you can also leave it on a page, write something down, and return to your magnification without skipping a beat. This is very helpful when you are looking at a very dense document. Another thing I love about this glass is its clarity, you can see very fine detail in the ink and the pen strokes that were used. This was particularly useful for me recently when I was trying to match the writing of an anonymous letter to an individual that seemed to be a match.
Foldability, yet another great feature that this glass boasts. You can fold it up, and stick in its pouch and it takes up very little room. I still carry my pocket magnifying glass in my kit, because I do find that they can both be useful, but more and more I find myself going for the foldable. Also, not all archives will let you place a magnifying glass on the actual documents, thus having both can be helpful.
Check the pictures below for more foldable fun!