The requirements for special collections place extra demands on space and storage. Archive facilities for historical collections are often fitted with a climate control system to maintain temperature and relative humidity levels. In addition, filters in ventilation ducts ensure that the archive material is not affected by dust and dirt. If the archive room is equipped with a climate control system Bruynzeel Storage Systems recommends the installation of an open storage system to allow sufficient airflow through the archives for preservation of documents and objects.
In the UK, many special collections repositories are required to meet BS 4971:2017 ‘Guide for the Storage and Exhibition of Archival Documents’, published by the British Standards Institution. All Bruynzeel systems are manufactured to meet or exceed this standard.
Choosing construction materials that are stable and will not give off emissions that could damage archival records is particularly important in a historical archive setting. Emissions can be minimised by the following:
- Installing steel front panels
- Setting rails for mobile cabinets directly into a concrete or emission-free aluminum floor
- Selecting smooth or steel counter tops for work and packaging tables
- Using acid-free boxes for archival storage
- Avoiding certain unsuitable finishes. Zinc white gives black spots and the surface is also not smooth and should never be used for storing books, for example, as it will degrade covers. Although galvanised metal finishes can be used, they should be avoided if an alternative is available.
Mobile storage solutions offer many advantages to use space efficiently in a historical archive. For the storage of historical collections, fragile collections or collections that require climate control, Bruynzeel’s mobile shelving offers optimum protection for your collection. Features include:
- Vibration-free movement, thanks to the ‘soft start and stop’, which ensures the collection will not become dislodged or damaged during retrieval.
- ‘Night Park’. At the end of the day, the mobile racks will automatically space themselves to allow airflow through the system.
- ‘Fire Park’, which can be linked to the building’s fire alarm. When an alarm is signalled the storage system can automatically close or open depending on whether you wish to protect it from smoke or open it to allow gas or water fire extinguishers to access the shelves.
- Oversized object storage. Bruynzeel’s mobile shelving allows safe storage or large and oversized objects. Damage is prevented by an easy adjustment of the mobile stopping distance between cabinets.