There are several tools and supplies you will need to use when preparing your packages for cold storage. Some of these items may already be included in your archival supplies: (11SEC)
Non-stick, or Teflon-coated, scissors are especially nice to have when you are cutting a lot of tape.(8SEC)
An archival ink pen to write on the labels for your packages. The black ink is easier to view than a pencil through the packaging. (8SEC)
A standard measuring tape. (2 SEC)
Labels to identify the boxes. We recommend archival, foil-backed labels or self-adhesive polypropylene label holders with paper inserts. (11 SEC)
Gloves, to use when you handle the film directly. (4 SEC)
A bone folder which is useful for securing the tape to the bags. (4 SEC)
Weights to help secure the bags and push out air while wrapping and taping the boxes.
Here are some archival supplies you can use for filler material inside your boxes. It is important to fill as much empty airspace as possible before wrapping the boxes for cold storage. Some common materials we recommend using are Ethafoam, corrugated boards and tissue. (20 SEC)
The Ethafoam sheets are easy to work with and can be cut to fit spaces inside your boxes. Corrugated blue board can also be cut to size, and it adds rigid support for films inside boxes. Archival tissue can be used to fill spaces by crumpling or shaping it into appropriate sized pieces. (21 SEC)
The goal of packaging is to create a stable microclimate that will help preserve film-based collections. We do this by using a series of bags to create a vapor-proof environment . The first bag you will use is a barrier film bag, which will be placed directly over your box or film can. This type of bag provides a good moisture barrier between the film-based materials and the cold environment. The second bag is a polyethylene bag which helps reinforce the vapor barrier and also provides additional durability to the overall packaging. (36 SEC)
There are several barrier film products you can use to make custom bags. These are some common ones:
All three of these products are very similar and provide good moisture barriers.
However, all of these bags are opaque , so you can’t see through them. This means you will not be able to view the humidity indicator cards and labels on your boxes or film cans, making it difficult to identify and monitor the contents. (42 SEC)
We recommend using a static shielding bag. This type of bag provides an acceptable moisture barrier, and it is semi-transparent, so you can read labels and humidity indicator cards through the bag.
The outer bag we recommend is a thick polyethylene zip-lock bag. This archival-grade bag provides additional protection for the boxes and cans as you move them in and out of the freezer, and it also completes the vapor-proof packaging design. (33 SEC)
In addition to bags, you need two different kinds of tape, an archival double-sided tape to attach humidity indicator cards and a clear polypropylene sealing tape with acrylic adhesive to seal the seams and secure the bags. (17 SEC)
These are examples of humidity indicator cards. We use two of the same type of card to monitor the relative humidity inside each package. We place one card directly on the box before wrapping it with the barrier film bag, and we place a second card on the box between the barrier film bag and the polyethylene bag. The placement of these cards enables us to monitor the relative humidity inside each bag. It is important to identify any changes that may be due to leaks in one or both of the bags, as they will compromise the microclimate. (36 SEC)
Some additional supplies you may need are an assortment of archival boxes. Shown here are examples of several types of boxes that usually fit well inside an upright freezer compartment. We recommend using metal-edged boxes made with 60-point board because they are strong, durable, stack well, and are unlikely to slump when stored on top of each other. (23 SEC)
You will want to utilize as much interior storage space as possible, so it is important to consider the use of a variety of boxes.
For a list of suggested boxes refer to the resources tab at the bottom of this page. (16 SEC)
Your collection materials will be housed in different sized boxes, as Jenny went over earlier. Because of this, you will need to order bags that appropriately fit each size box. You want to make sure that the bags fit the box as well as possible without being too tight. but excess material, either on the width or the length of the bags, will only add bulk inside the freezer compartment.
Bags & Tape
The use of humidity indicator cards will enable you to monitor the RH inside the packages. As demonstrated in the packaging process, you must place a humidity indicator card inside each bag. This will enable you to identify a change in RH in both bags.
6-Spot Cobalt Humidity Indicator Card (10-60% RH)
6-Spot Cobalt Humidity Indicator Card (10-100% RH)
Boxes, Cans, Envelopes, Cards, Labels
To wrap the boxes/cans using the recommended vapor-proof packaging design, you must have the right sized bags. Below is a simple formula you can use to help determine an appropriate bag size for the box/can you need to wrap. Keep in mind that not all size combinations are available in the static shielding and polyethylene bags, so you will need to select the bag sizes that are closest to what you need. For example, if you need a 13x16 polyethylene bag, you may need to purchase a 13x18 bag because 13x16 is not available. You should select the closest (larger) size available to ensure you can enclose your box/can and have enough excess to fold and tape/seal the bags properly.
FORMULA: (L + H + 1) x (W + H + 1) = Recommended Bag Dimensions (LxW)
For example, if the dimensions of your box are 4Hx5Wx12L(D), then your bag Length =12+4+1=15 and your bag Width =5+4+1=10. You will need a bag at least 15Lx10W.Continue to Cold Storage Packaging: Wrapping The Collections