acrylic-coated archival document cases mitigate water damage?

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    • #132467
      Charlene Martin
      Participant

      I was wondering if anyone has had experience with how well these hold up to water distributed by overhead wet sprinkler systems. Did they make a difference in protecting the paper documents inside, or should I use regular barrier board document cases instead?

      Thank you!

       

    • #132470
      Charlene Martin
      Participant

      I wanted to add that I have powder-coated, stainless-steel open shelves for my archival collection. Since the water distribution in sprinkler systems is vertical, I wonder how much protection is provided by the metal shelf above (I would still encase everything in archival boxes)?

      I also would like to use any of this shelving left over to store my museum objects. I haven’t completed a storage container survey yet, but I was thinking of storing objects in acid-free cartons and placing them on any shelf space left over, with the option to supplement spill-over with Metro Shelving. I wonder if I shouldn’t consider metal cabinets for the spill-over, instead of open shelves, because of the possibility of water damage from sprinklers?

      Thank you!

       

    • #132469
      Susan Knoer
      Member

      A shelf above will protect boxes on the shelf to some extent, as long as they are recessed from both the front and back of the shelves enough that the water won’t drip on them.  The back is particularly important, since people don’t think of checking the back immediately.

      Cabinets work well for objects, but are problematic for paper, since it’s so absorbent.  If water does get into the cabinets (think fire hoses and floods), it may be impossible to open them after items swell.  With boxes, a matte knife is all you need.

      Just as an anecdote, not a rule, I had a water leak onto a shelf of uncoated boxes for hours.  The boxes absorbed the water, with a tide lone of about 3″, but nothing inside got more than damp.  I’d look at any research on them before investing in them for water damage.    It might be better to spend the money on some other protection.

      Of course, if you have a big budget, go for it!

       

       

       

    • #132468
      Charlene Martin
      Participant

      Thank you Susan, I really love this practical advice. I hope others join in, because this is exactly what I am looking for. Why spend $3.50 extra per box/document case if I don’t have to?

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