Video Guidance: Storage of Materials
What Is The Best Way To Store Materials?
Video: Storage of Materials
Store video recordings and playback equipment in an area providing stably low temperatures, low humidity, and protection from flooding, air pollutants, and sunlight. This will help extend their usable life. Temperature and humidity in a home storage environment should ideally not fluctuate and be within the ranges of 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit and 30-55% RH. Avoid storing home collections in places with unregulated climates such as an attic or garage.
A closet or an unused room are often good choices. Generally basements provide darker spaces and more stable and cooler temperatures, but humidity levels can be high unless regulated by A/C or a dehumidifier. Choose another floor If you experience occasional flooding in the basement.
Once you’ve chosen the best spot, ensure that materials are not stored on the floor where they could be exposed to water damage, insects, or rodents. Damp conditions may accelerate conditions such as vinegar syndrome in acetate tapes or encourage mold growth on the materials.
- Video tapes should be stored vertically and in their boxes. Don’t stack tapes on top of one another.
- Store magnetic tapes away from anything that can create an electro-magnetic field. This includes loudspeakers and other articles containing magnets, and also high voltage lines and surge protectors.
- Don’t leave a tape inside a VCR when it is not in use.
- Store discs vertically in their plastic cases.
- Don’t expose to sunlight or other sources of UV light. Recordable optical media are especially sensitive.
- Don’t use adhesive labels or solvent-based permanent markers on the discs (markers specifically made for archiving optical discs are available).
Where can I find more information?
- NARA Directive 1571 Archival Storage Standards from the National Archives
- Storage Guides and Calculators From the Image Permanence Institute
- Ampex Guide to the Care and Handling of Magnetic Tape From the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
- Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs —A Guide for Librarians and Archivists NIST Special Publication 500-252 by Fred R. Byers
- Care, Handling, and Storage of Audio Visual Materials From the Library of Congress