Audio is one of the most difficult types of materials to care for, because of playback obsolescence and fragility of original format. Most audio formats are also easily damaged and once they are damaged they are very difficult to recover. Many audio archives specialize in restoring audio materials as well as preserving and transferring them, since … More Audio

Film and Video

Film and Video presents many of the same issues as photography and audio materials. It is very important to pay careful attention to temperature and humidity, and most film is best stored at a slightly lower temperature. Because many film and video formats are open reel, it is important to be extremely careful in handling … More Film and Video


Photographs are one of the most commonly archived material in personal and community archives, and require some special care and handling for their long-term preservation. Digital photography is similar to other digital files, addressed in another post. Digital photographers should be aware of the problem of proprietary software based on camera brands, for example, many raw … More Photographs

Digital Files

Surprisingly, digital files can be much more difficult to maintain and preserve than analog formats. Most everyone has lost a computer or a hard drive, at some point. In the age of cloud storage digital storage can cause a false sense of security. When digital files first came into widespread use, many people saw it as a … More Digital Files

Physical Storage Conditions

Temperature and Humidity: Archival materials are extremely susceptible to environmental conditions, with particular problems stemming from changes in temperature and humidity. Many archival collections, particularly those that are held in private hands or by institutions that do not have archival programs, tend to be stored in attics and basements. Controlling for these conditions can be … More Physical Storage Conditions


One of the most important places to start in archival preservation is security. It is very basic, but is an integral element of protecting collection. Security needs should address theft, natural disaster, fire, and other issues that could happen in your area. Theft protection: This can be easily built into any space you are using for storage. … More Security