Why is archival material always accelerated

Task 5A - Reading

No packaging, however good, can compensate for inadequate storage conditions in the long term. It is therefore very important to check and, if necessary, optimize the environmental conditions in the magazine.
The requirements for the storage of archive and library material are defined in an internationally valid standard, DIN ISO 11799. This includes the location and condition of the building, the equipment of the storage facilities, the burglary, fire and water protection, the room climate, the lighting as well as the air and room hygiene. This course is mainly limited to the last three areas and the equipment and furnishing of the magazines.
To prepare for the next task, read the following text.

Temperature and humidity

Archives consist of organic materials and are subject to natural aging. High temperatures in the magazines accelerate these aging and degradation processes. A humidity of permanent
over 60% leads to mold growth. That is why constant monitoring of the climate values ​​in the magazines has high priority. The recommended guideline values ​​for storage rooms in which archive material of different material properties (e.g. paper files and parchment certificates) is stored are 15-18 ° C (± 1 ° C) and 50% (± 3%) relative humidity. Above all, stable climatic conditions are important, because strongly fluctuating temperature and humidity values ​​can lead to strong changes in the structure of organic materials.
Photographic material has its own requirements for storage and packaging, so it should be stored separately from written material and as cool as possible (but frost-free).


Light also accelerates aging processes. Therefore no daylight should fall into the storage rooms. Windows must be provided with blinds, light protection films, etc. Other measures to reduce exposure to light include avoiding permanent lighting in the magazine and using UV-protected lamps.

Air and room hygiene

A magazine room should be clean and free of harmful substances. Magazine floors and shelves should be cleaned regularly. We recommend cleaning the floors and larger surfaces once a week, but at least once a month, as well as more intensive cleaning of all shelves and cardboard boxes at least once a year. Vacuum cleaners with Hepa filters are suitable for cleaning floors. Floors should also be wiped regularly with a damp cloth. The use of water should be as economical as possible with a view to maintaining stable humidity. Microfiber cloths can be used to clean shelves and cardboard boxes. They attract the dust and bind it.
A regular exchange of air in the magazines prevents the development of microclimates, which harbor an increased risk of mold growth. When ventilating the rooms, sufficient air filtration and intelligent ventilation must be ensured. A short ventilation period is sufficient. The external climatic conditions have to be kept in view so that outside air that is too wet does not enter the magazine. Pollutants and dust particles in the room air can be filtered out with mobile air purifiers.
Magazines are not permanent workplaces and should not be used as storage rooms.

Shelves and cupboards

Shelves and cupboards should be adapted to the local conditions and the type of archive material to be stored (e.g. mobile shelves for files, plan cabinets for large formats such as cards or posters). The magazine furniture should be flame retardant and not give off vapor. Stove-enamelled or powder-coated shelves or cabinets are ideal, as these do not emit any harmful substances to the archived material and are easy to clean. Good air circulation between the shelves is also important, as is a minimum clearance between the shelves and the outside walls and from the floor and the lowest shelves.
The question of standing or lying storage is answered differently in the individual countries and partly also depends on the type of archive material (bound volumes / official books or files). It is important that the type of storage and packaging does not damage the archive material through pressure or slipping.

additional Information

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