NARA Preservation Strategies

Storage and Handling

Storage is the first and best means of defense in safely preserving archival holdings. Choices made in storage type and methodology have the greatest influence on the long-term preservation of records.

A primary preservation goal is to house all records appropriately based on their size, format, and composition. Housing enclosures provide physical support and protection as well as a buffer against adverse or fluctuating environmental conditions. Housings also provide a mechanism for organizing and maintaining records in intellectual units that can be easily and safely handled. Factors that are considered when designing housings include the optimum method of accessing, storing, and using the records; stability of all component housing materials; method of fabrication or assembly; and cost.