14th Annual Preservation Conference

(March 1999)

Conference Topic: Alternative Archival Facilities

Held on March 25, 1999,
at the National Archives Building
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

NARA's Annual Preservation Conferences cover topics on the creation, use, exhibition, care and handling, duplication, and long term storage of information on paper, film, tape, and disk.

The 1999 topic, Alternative Archival Facilities, covered underground storage; cold storage vaults; conventional freezers; adapted space, such as upgraded rooms or storage areas not originally intended for archival storage; and specially built, high-density depository structures where the material is stacked very high, expected retrieval is infrequent, and the building is so well insulated that little air conditioning is necessary. There are special challenges associated with each of these alternatives. For example, How does water drain from an underground room? What are the risks of fire and fire suppression in caves and high density storage areas?

The following conference papers -- available where a link is present -- include standards, hints, tips, and models on how to utilize alternative space for the storage of archival and library materials.

Overview of Alternative Space Options for Libraries and Archives
by Paul Banks, Consultant
A survey of current alternative space utilization for archival and library materials.
Standards for Permanent Records Storage and Presidential Libraries
by Richard Judson, Engineer, NARA Space and Security Management
A review of NARA's new standards for Permanent Records Storage and Presidential Libraries.
High-Density, Cool Temperature Storage at the Library of Congress (LC)
by Doris A. Hamburg, Head, Preventive Conservation, LC
by Steven J. Herman, Chief, Collections Management, LC
Development and assessment of the preservation and access considerations for storing library materials in a high-density, cool temperature depository.
Adaptation of Underground Space
by Tom Benjamin, Vice President - Business Development, National Underground Storage, Inc.
An examination of the opportunities and challenges of keeping paper, film, and magnetic media in underground facilities.
The Realistic Preservation Environment
Ernest Conrad, P.E., President, Landmark Facilities Group
How small institutions can achieve proper environmental conditions for the storage of documents and books.
Building a Small Cold Storage Vault
by Robin Siegel, Conservator, National Geographic Society
A case study of a contractor-built cold storage vault within an existing structure.
The Cold Storage of Photographic Collections Using Conventional Freezer Technology
by Mark McCormick-Goodhart, Vice President, Old Town Editions, Inc.
A presentation of innovative techniques utilizing microclimate packages and the sealed cabinet approach.
Special Challenges - Fire and Fire Suppression
by Tom Goonan, President, Tom Goonan Associates
Warnings regarding the use of space not originally designed for the storage of archival and library materials.

The March 28, 2000, 15th Annual Preservation Conference, is on the topic Deacidification Reconsidered.