MOLA, Museum of London Archaeology, has awarded DeepStore Records Management a five-year contract to store many of its important and environmentally sensitive artefacts. 

The Winsford-based storage company, whose staff have had specialist training in the handling of archaeological and related material, is transferring 5200 boxes of objects from MOLA’s collections to its climate-controlled vaults in Britain’s largest salt mine. The successful uplift of items will be completed by January 2015. 

Among the items being stored is archaeological material from over 30 sites, including animal bones, building materials, botanical remains, human bones, clay tobacco pipes and pottery. 

Founded in 1973, MOLA offers expert archaeological and built-heritage services across the UK. It employs more than 250 professional archaeologists, consultants and specialists; and delivers public benefit through its innovative community engagement programmes. 

James Andrews from MOLA, said: “The safeguarding of our objects is of central importance to us and our clients and therefore having cost-effective storage with stable climatic conditions gives us piece of mind.” 

DeepStore, which is part of the Compass Minerals group, created the underground storage facility from the space left following the extraction of millions of tonnes of rock salt from sister company Salt Union’s mine. 

The mine, 150 metres below ground, is ideal for storing documents as it has consistent temperature and humidity levels that meet the specifications of British Standard PD5454. Its storage areas also are naturally free from ultraviolet light, vermin and flooding. 

Craig Trimby, DeepStore’s head of sales, said: “The move is particularly complex due to the age and historical significance of the artefacts we are storing. Some of the items are very delicate and therefore vulnerable to handling and changes in the environment. Our secure and climate controlled vaults are perfect for storing such ancient objects and we’re delighted to welcome MOLA as a client.” 

MOLA joins other prestigious DeepStore clients, including the National Archives and the Royal Society, that are taking advantage of DeepStore’s unique solution to storage of important and historical items.