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RE: [AV Media Matters] Digest for AV-Media-Matters@topica.com, issue 178

>Subject: Envirionmental for archival media collections
>We have a archival collection containing mixed media and are interested in
>what others have chosen as ideal temperature and humidity levels for
>long-term storage. Our collection contains wax cylinders, acetate discs on
>glass and metal, shellac and vinyl discs, reel-to-reel and cassette tapes,
>some VHS tapes, books and paper documents, and photographs. We've no choice
>but to store these materials in the same room and therefore under the same
>conditions. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
>Jerry McBride, Music Librarian

As a public storage facility we also wrestle with the same question of what
temperature and humidity
conditions should we maintain that will serve most of our clients for most of
their collections.  When we first
built Hollywood Vaults in 1985 we established storage conditions at 50 degrees
F (10°C) at 50% RH.  At the time
it was the coldest and driest public media vault around.   After tracking the
research coming out of Eastman
Kodak, Image Permanence Institute, Manchester University, Henry Wilhelm, AMIA
and others, we determined that we would lower both temp. and humidity.

Today we maintain 45 degrees F (7°C) at 25% RH. These conditions satisfy most
of our clients for most of their
collections which consist of audio tape, video tape, film, photos, documents
and digital media.  These
conditions do not require conditioning before or after storage.  For those few
clients that have materials that
they want their great, great, great grandchildren to see, we also have 0 degree
F (-18°C) freezers available for you
know, Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon type footage, or church archive
materials and the like.

25% RH might be a tad too dry for some of your materials.  Could you maintain
40 degrees F (4°C) at 35 or 40%
RH?  As the RH goes up you should try to lower the temp.  They go hand in hand
and the overall life
expectancy (LE) will remain the same.  At these low temps and RH, you will be
extending the LE over room
temp/RH by hundreds, if not thousands of years!

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