Chapter 27: Off-site Storage

Doris A. Hamburg, Director, Preservation Programs, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740

With the need to secure appropriate storage for growing and/or over crowded collections, collection managers may choose to address their space needs using storage located at a distance from the main site. Insufficient space and/or budgetary considerations costs at the primary site, the interest to divide collections for risk management reasons, and/or temporary relocation due to construction projects can be key drivers in deciding how and where to develop additional collection storage. Off-site storage options are numerous, ranging from caves to purpose-built high bay storage models to commercial storage, and may offer relatively low cost options with significant preservation and energy benefits. The decision to develop off-site storage and determining the type of facility will depend on the collection requirements, access needs and budgetary considerations, among other factors. Developing an off-site facility requires implementing appropriate work processes to ensure access, inventory control, and security oversight specific to the new circumstances.

Key words:  off-site storage, storage, caves, high bay storage, high density storage