Proper archival storage practices are essential for preserving organizational information assets over time. These practices encompass various aspects of storage management, including environmental control, physical protection, and organizational strategies.
A. Environmental Control
- Temperature and Humidity: Maintain a stable temperature of around 65-70°F (18-21°C) and a relative humidity of 30-50% to minimize the risk of damage from temperature fluctuations and moisture. Dehumidifiers can be used to remove excess moisture from the air.
- Light Exposure: Minimize exposure to direct sunlight and artificial lighting, as prolonged exposure can cause fading and deterioration of materials.
- Air Quality: Keep storage areas free from dust, pollutants, and pests to prevent contamination and damage to records.
B. Physical Protection
- Use Acid-Free Materials: Store records in acid-free boxes, folders, and encapsulation materials to prevent acidic degradation. Corrugated 5 ply boxes are recommended.
- Support and Protection: Use appropriate support materials, such as folders, boxes, and shelves, to provide physical support and prevent damage from handling and stacking.
- Pest Control: Implement regular pest control measures to prevent infestation and damage to records. Ultrasonic pest controls can be used.
- Fire Protection: Install fire suppression systems and maintain clear evacuation routes to protect records from fire hazards. Water based fire suppression should never be used but dry chemical extinguishers such as automatic fire extinguisher balls or powders.
- Water Damage Prevention: Protect storage areas from potential water damage by addressing leaks, installing water detectors, and maintaining proper drainage systems.
C. Organizational Strategies
- Inventory and Labeling: Create detailed inventories of stored records, including descriptions, identifiers, and locations in a master document register for easy identification and retrieval.
- Accessioning: Assign unique accession numbers to records to track their entry into the archives and provide a permanent identifier for reference and retrieval.
- Arrangement and Access: Arrange records in a systematic manner based on their content, chronology, or other relevant criteria to facilitate easy retrieval. Establish access procedures and controls to ensure proper handling and protection of records.
- Regular Inspection and Maintenance: Regularly inspect stored records for signs of damage, deterioration, or pests. Implement timely maintenance and repair measures to preserve the integrity of records.
- Disaster Preparedness: Develop a disaster preparedness plan to address potential hazards such as fire, floods, or natural disasters. The plan should outline emergency procedures, evacuation routes, and strategies for salvaging and recovering damaged records.
Tecres Technologies can help you set up your organization archive facility, assemble archive racks, supply archive boxes, supply dehumidifiers, pest controls, and every other archive material required for proper archival storage, and maintenance. Our vast experience, makes us your preferred partner for your archive needs.
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