Collection Care - Storage Environment
Ideally, documents and photographs should be stored in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. The temperature should be between 65 to 75 degrees, with a humidity reading between 40% to 50%. Small inexpensive thermometers that read temperature and humidity levels can be purchased at any discount store.
Controlling the temperature and humidity will also lessen the threat of mold and insect damage. Humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners will help control temperature and humidity.
Articles placed in a steamy attic or a damp basement should be moved to a more stable location. Do not place objects in close proximity to leaky pipes, water heaters, furnaces, chemicals, or windows.
Arrange boxes in a cool dry place, away from ultra-violet light. Ultra-violet light, warm temperatures, and high amounts of moisture will hasten the deterioration rate of documents and photographs.
Documents and photos should be placed in archival quality boxes, folders, or sleeves. Storage in cardboard boxes is acceptable, as long as the boxes are in the correct temperature and humidity range.
Cardboard boxes are very acidic. When they are used in combination with high temperatures and humidity the result is damaging to documents and photos.
Eventually, quality archival storage products should be purchased in order to ensure protection.