Contemporary Collections: Preprints from the AICCM National Conference 17th g 19th October 2007 Brisbane pp. 221
Significant changes have occurred in the archive industry over recent decades. Standard document format has changed, and a range of chemically stable synthetic materials has become available to compete with traditional paper-based storage enclosures. However, archive practice is yet to widely adopt changes to take advantage of these developments. The change in standard document format from foolscap to A4 allows significant storage space savings to be achieved. Anecdotal evidence suggests that 90% of paper records now being archived are in A4 size. However, manila folders and the standard Type 1 archive boxes still cater for foolscap and are therefore 10% longer than needed for the storage of A4 paper.
The advantages of polypropylene as a storage material have also been recognised in recent times and have largely transformed the storage of photographic items and textiles. However in archives the more conventional buffered paperboard boxes are generally still favoured. This paper argues that the status quo for archival document storage should be questioned and that changes are warranted.