Having the correct storage environment is essential for document preservation and it is something that we take very seriously here at DeepStore. 

Environmental conditions in the DeepStore repositories are closely monitored to ensure adherence to BS EN 16893:2018 guidelines. The repositories are all constructed and managed to the original and more stringent PD 5454 standard which is still a key requirement for some organisations.  

PD 5454 was the original standard for the conservation and care of archive material to ensure long-term preservation. In 2012, PD 5454 was withdrawn and replaced with the new standard BS EN 16893, allowing for a broader scope from the original PD 5454 specifications.

Temperature – Why is it a Threat?

The accepted understanding of a “good” storage environment is a temperature of 16-18°C. Higher temperatures will accelerate the chemical degradation of documents, whereas lower temperatures slow this process down.  Therefore, it’s important to have stable low temperatures, here at DeepStore our storage units are at a continuous 15°C.

Relative Humidity (RH) – Why is it a Threat?

RH is the amount of moisture in the air compared to the maximum amount that the air could hold at a given temperature and we express this as a percentage. Too little moisture will cause records to become brittle and too much may increase the possibility of mould. The optimum level for a paper collection is 50% +/- 5% (max 60%). Paper collections are at high risk of mould growth under prolonged periods of 65% or higher. 

Temperature affects RH – air at low temperatures cannot hold as much water vapour as warmer air.

Grade 1, acid-free archival boxes

Grade 1, acid-free boxes are the main boxes recommended to be used for preservation for a variety of reasons including:

  • They are made with pH-neutral materials, meaning they contain neither acids nor alkalis, both of which can be harmful to historic collections.
  • They are particularly useful for storing cheaper papers which often have a high acid content. Newspapers are a good example, which turn yellow-brown and become extremely brittle.
  • All these box types are brass wire stitched because it is a non-ferrous metal and will not rust. Similarly, it is recommended to use brass paperclips to replace any pins or steel paperclips.
  • These boxes are also designed to withstand water for up to 15 minutes.
  • Once outside a repository, there are unstable environmental conditions. So, when records are being moved between client sites and DeepStore, the contents within the archival box will be protected from these sharp changes.

Contact us for safe storage and document preservation 

Every company and organisation should have access to the best document storage solution possible, and we want to make sure that happens. 

We have unlimited storage potential at our unique underground storage facility in Winsford, with additional storage solutions available at our storage facility in Bromley-by-Bow, utilised as a hub for serving the city of London and surrounding boroughs. 

Our team will be happy to help you find the best solutions to suit your requirements. To speak to a member of our team, call 0345 056 5759 or complete our online enquiry form.