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A guide to archival storage

Since offices and homes have a premium on free space, storage of paperwork and documents requires clever storage and filing solutions. Archival storage deals with long-term storage of bulk documents ensuring that they are preserved for future reference. Read this guide to archival storage for information on available options.

Assess requirements

Storage requirement Available space may range from a free cabinet shelf to a spare store room. Combined with the volume of storage required, this will determine the extent of storage optimisation required. Stored contents Archival storage can range from office documents to personal collections like photographs or comics. Documents may be in the form of books or loose sheets which need to be grouped. Access Consider how frequently you will need to access the storage to help to select the archival storage styling.

Desirable features

Space saving features Despite your current storage requirement, keep in mind that storage requirements will grow and it is always a good idea to pick a storage solution which helps to save space and has surplus capacity. Durability Since archival storage is a long-term storage and items to be stored hold importance, the durability of the archival storage should be assessed. The material and construction should be sturdy and depending on the contents, may be required to offer protection from dust and light penetration. Boxes which have metal reinforcement in the corners and secure seams are useful. Poly corrugated materials resist damage by water and tearing. Chemical stability is important for photographs and printed material. The storage material should be acid-free and the use of buffering agents can neutralise the effect of air pollutants and migrant acids. Handling ease Boxes with handles to allow easy lifting allow convenient access and shifting. Handling ease is particularly important for home office storage since there may not be other office help. Security Check for features like tamper-resistant or tamper-proof closers for sensitive data.

Available options

Archival box These filing boxes may be stackable or upright. Variations in size and with special features to hold photographs or sports cards are available. They are strong enough to be stacked and may also allow paper inserts for inventorying. Memory boxes offer more styling and decorative options and make for great family gifts. Mobile racking This is a highly optimised space-saving solution wherein shelving racks move along tracks to create a single access aisle where required. Digital storage With a technology-driven environment, digital storage can save your data at a fraction of the space. Off-site storage Choosing an off-site storage service for documents which are not referred to often, can save premium office space. Invest in good quality archival storage to ensure preservation of contents.

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