* Looking for archival storage boxes

Got general Family History research questions - this is the place
Post Reply
avatar
garethhowell
Gold
Posts: 28
Joined: 02 May 2019 14:26
Family Historian: V7
Location: St Neots, UK
Contact:

Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by garethhowell » 17 Apr 2022 10:19

I'm in need of some more archival quality storage boxes. The ones I have came from my mother's researches and are heavy cardboard boxes with full depth lids approx. 14 x 11 x 4 inches. Very strong and stackable.

I've searched on line but neither PEL or my-history do anything like these.

Before I opt for something else, I wonder what others are using to store certificates, photos, histories etc.

Gareth
Gareth Howell
Researching HOWELL (Kent and South Wales), STILTZ/STILTS (London and Germany), DUNN (Norfolk)

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1451
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by Mark1834 » 17 Apr 2022 13:45

Really Useful Boxes are what you need. Very strong, fully stackable and available in a huge range of sizes. I’ve got dozens of them, ranging from tiny to huge.
Mark Draper

avatar
Gowermick
Megastar
Posts: 1325
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 07:22
Family Historian: V7
Location: Swansea

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by Gowermick » 17 Apr 2022 16:37

Gareth,
I don’t know where you’re looking on my-history, but they still do a large selection of archival storage boxes, both clamshell and lidded. I find them to be very sturdy!
Mike Loney

Website http://www.loney.tribalpages.com
http://www.mickloney.tribalpages.com

avatar
garethhowell
Gold
Posts: 28
Joined: 02 May 2019 14:26
Family Historian: V7
Location: St Neots, UK
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by garethhowell » 18 Apr 2022 08:45

Thanks for the replies. I didn’t make myself clear.

I see that both sites do clamshell style as well as lidded boxes, but what I currently use have full-depth lids. It was this sort of box I was looking for. However, knowing that the clamshell style boxes are OK is good to know.

I’ve wondered about using plastic boxes, but is there not then an issue with light exposure or off-gassing?
Gareth Howell
Researching HOWELL (Kent and South Wales), STILTZ/STILTS (London and Germany), DUNN (Norfolk)

avatar
Gowermick
Megastar
Posts: 1325
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 07:22
Family Historian: V7
Location: Swansea

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by Gowermick » 18 Apr 2022 09:06

Gareth,
I have a couple of their small lidded archival boxes, to keep my fathar and grandfather’s medals in. They are very strong. The largest is about 15 x 10 x 5 inckes.
Mike Loney

Website http://www.loney.tribalpages.com
http://www.mickloney.tribalpages.com

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1451
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by Mark1834 » 18 Apr 2022 09:27

garethhowell wrote:
18 Apr 2022 08:45
I’ve wondered about using plastic boxes, but is there not then an issue with light exposure or off-gassing?
I had the same thought, but you can also get opaque boxes. I generally use transparent ones so you can easily see what is inside, but they are stored in a dark cupboard, not on direct sunlight. I've seen no effect on documents and photos stored in that way for a decade or more (but not done the control experiment of an identical document stored in persistent and total darkness).

It's probably not good enough for professional archive use (any comment from archivists...?), but I prefer the strength and robustness of rigid plastic. I've damaged more cardboard boxes than plastic ones over the years by rough handling!
Mark Draper

avatar
Gowermick
Megastar
Posts: 1325
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 07:22
Family Historian: V7
Location: Swansea

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by Gowermick » 18 Apr 2022 09:59

Mark,
My-history archival boxes are a bit more than just cardboard boxes. They are very robust, and to be honest, can’t see them collapsing like ‘Cardboard Boxes’. Furthermore they meet the high standards required by archivists. :D
Mike Loney

Website http://www.loney.tribalpages.com
http://www.mickloney.tribalpages.com

User avatar
fhtess65
Famous
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 Feb 2018 21:34
Family Historian: V7
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by fhtess65 » 18 Apr 2022 16:16

garethhowell wrote:
18 Apr 2022 08:45
I’ve wondered about using plastic boxes, but is there not then an issue with light exposure or off-gassing?
Librarian here (not archivist), however, I know that in general archives avoid using plastic boxes because moisture can get trapped and cause issues. This is especially true if your storage area isn't climate controlled. I would never use them here in British Columbia because our winters are very wet and the rest of the year can be humid.

The Archives Lady (Archivist and family historian, Melissa Barker) does say that plastic boxes can be used, but lists what to use. The post is here: https://genealogybargains.com/the-archi ... age-boxes/.

I admit to having more recent papers stored in plastic boxes in a room with a dehumidifier running. But those are items that aren't precious. Anything that is older and of real value is in archival cardboard boxes and stored in a room I can get to quickly to remove everything if need be in an emergency.

Teresa
---
Teresa Basińska Eckford
Librarian & family historian
http://writingmypast.wordpress.com

avatar
garethhowell
Gold
Posts: 28
Joined: 02 May 2019 14:26
Family Historian: V7
Location: St Neots, UK
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by garethhowell » 19 Apr 2022 08:17

Good point, Teresa. Thanks.
Gareth Howell
Researching HOWELL (Kent and South Wales), STILTZ/STILTS (London and Germany), DUNN (Norfolk)

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1451
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by Mark1834 » 19 Apr 2022 08:46

It's horses for courses, isn't it, rather than getting obsessed about one method good and another bad? A strong polypropylene box (not the cheap rubbish that pound stores and DIY sheds sell) stored in dry and dark conditions is fine for most routine storage, but I agree that any rare or valuable items need more careful assessment of what is appropriate.

In my case, I have relatively few physical artefacts, so what I am storing is mostly my own records and notes, along with photographs (where all of the key ones have also been scanned in high resolution and stored in my electronic archive).
Mark Draper

User avatar
fhtess65
Famous
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 Feb 2018 21:34
Family Historian: V7
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by fhtess65 » 19 Apr 2022 16:00

Mark1834 wrote:
19 Apr 2022 08:46
It's horses for courses, isn't it, rather than getting obsessed about one method good and another bad?
Precisely - even archivists know that the average person can't source and/or afford the optimum resources for storing our collections. As you say, for your personal notes, a good quality polypropylene box is the best option. I'm trying to get as many of my physical photos both scanned and then into acid-free albums.

In library school I learned in my Records Management class that what I'm supposed to do is scan everything, box it all up, and then find a reputable storage facility that is climate controlled and pay it to keep my collection safe. Um, yeah, not a viable option. I just do my best with what I have.
---
Teresa Basińska Eckford
Librarian & family historian
http://writingmypast.wordpress.com

User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 3687
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 26 Apr 2022 09:42

Conservation Resources just came up on my Twitter feed, recommended by one archivist to another.

User avatar
fhtess65
Famous
Posts: 245
Joined: 15 Feb 2018 21:34
Family Historian: V7
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by fhtess65 » 26 Apr 2022 20:47

Afraid to ask what they'd charge for shipping to Canada, however, for those of you in the UK, definitely a viable option!

Teresa
ColeValleyGirl wrote:
26 Apr 2022 09:42
Conservation Resources just came up on my Twitter feed, recommended by one archivist to another.
---
Teresa Basińska Eckford
Librarian & family historian
http://writingmypast.wordpress.com

avatar
garethhowell
Gold
Posts: 28
Joined: 02 May 2019 14:26
Family Historian: V7
Location: St Neots, UK
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by garethhowell » 28 Apr 2022 08:22

ColeValleyGirl wrote:
26 Apr 2022 09:42
Conservation Resources just came up on my Twitter feed, recommended by one archivist to another.
These are exactly the ones I’ve been looking for. Thanks!

I’ve just taken delivery of three and they’re perfect for what I want. Very strong and only £6 each.
Gareth Howell
Researching HOWELL (Kent and South Wales), STILTZ/STILTS (London and Germany), DUNN (Norfolk)

avatar
lesleyl
Diamond
Posts: 56
Joined: 01 Feb 2004 13:03
Family Historian: V6
Location: Cambridge

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by lesleyl » 04 May 2022 08:09

Sorry, I'm a bit late to the party!
I use Secol for all my arrival supplies; grateful selection of boxes, files, filing envelopes and other useful bits & pieces

https://www.secol.co.uk/

avatar
dahliarose
Gold
Posts: 18
Joined: 08 Jun 2003 11:56
Family Historian: V7
Location: England
Contact:

Re: Looking for archival storage boxes

Post by dahliarose » 11 May 2022 09:10

I bought a lot of Bigso acid-free photo boxes from the Holding Company to store family photos and I've been very happy with them:

https://www.theholdingcompany.co.uk/bra ... o-box.html

The Holding Company also sell larger document boxes. They are not acid free but they were fine for my purposes.

I bought some clamshell boxes from MyHistory to store larger photographs. I couldn't find any supplier which sold large acid-free boxes with proper lids.

I bought wallets of various sizes to store the photos in the boxes from Preservation Equipment Ltd:

https://www.preservationequipment.com/B ... otographic

Post Reply