Contributions to the 5th AICCM Book, Paper and Photographic Materials Symposium. Editors: Prue McKay and Alana Treasure. Canberra, ACT: AICCM (Inc.), 2008.


The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) has recently investigated, designed and installed a low-cost, low-energy solution for the storage of cellulose acetate film. In the USA, prominent researchers Mark McCormick-Goodhart and Henry Wilhelm had researched such a solution for cold temperature film storage. Their solution involved the adoption of an ‘off-the-shelf’ gasket sealed museum cabinet, followed by tests to confirm its efficacy. Investigations by the SLNSW found that these cabinets were no longer available and other potentially suitable off-the-shelf products were not economically viable due to high international shipping costs. Two possible options were identified:

  • retrofit or make modifications to an existing Australian cabinet
  • design and build a prototype in collaboration with a contract engineer and local metal manufacturer

Advice from McCormick-Goodhart suggested that retrofitting an existing cabinet was likely to be problematic. A decision was made to follow the second option. This paper will outline the process taken to construct and fit out two commercial walk-in freezers for the storage of film-based material at the SLNSW.

5th Book, Paper & Photograph Symposium, 2008
Paper author:
Kahabka, Dana