In His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), a treasury tag was a lace with a sharp metal tag at one end which could be threaded through the holes in a stack of documents or cards and then inserted into a female tag at the other end to form a loop, so binding the documents. The tags in that case were in line with the string, like a shoelace. An India tag was similar but the metal tags were orthogonal to the string, so forming a cross-piece. The India tag did not form a loop as the cross-pieces were sufficiently wide that they did not slip back through the holes.
In current British usage, treasury tag refers to a tag with orthogonal cross-pieces, previously known as an India tag. The cross-pieces may be of metal or of plastic, and the string may be elasticated.
Treasury or India tags are threaded through holes in paper or card made with a hole punch or lawyers bodkin. Strings of various lengths are used to fasten stacks of paper of corresponding thickness and these are sometimes colour-coded by size.
Winston Churchill used treasury tags to hold the notes for his speeches together. He called the punch for making holes a "clop", after the sound that it made. The Duchess of Windsor used India tags for her speeches.
- List of Articles Authorised to be Supplied by H.M.S.O., 1912
- "Handling documents". The National Archive. Retrieved 26 August 2011. Text states "Files consist of loose sheets held together in one corner by a treasury tag.", image clearly shows orthogonal cross-pieces.
- "Treasury tags". InkAndStuff. Retrieved 26 August 2011. Office supplier's catalogue showing metal and plastic cross-pieces
- "Elasticated treasury tags". Viking. Retrieved 26 August 2011. Office supplier's catalogue showing elasticated tags
- John Bowden (2004), Writing a report, p. 117
- Randolph Spencer Churchill, Martin Gilbert (1966), Winston S. Churchill 8, Heinemann
- Wallis Warfield Windsor (1956), The heart has its reasons
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