Chapter 25: Off-site Storage
Doris A. Hamburg, National Archives and Records Administration (ret.), College Park, MD and Collection Preservation Consultation, Chevy Chase, MD
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.