Film & Media Archive Vault

17 Aug
Film & Media Archive vault

Film & Media Archive Stacks

The vault in the Film & Media Archive at Washington University is a climate controlled environment specifically designed for film, audio, and video material. When Washington University acquired the Henry Hampton Collection in 2001, a climate controlled vault was designed and built to properly house and preserve this material. The Archive employs two Image Permanence Institute Preservation Environment Monitors and the Climate Notebook Software to ensure that vault temperatures remain within the ISO “cool” standards and that relative humidity remains between 30% and 50%. Temperature and relative humidity is monitored twenty-four hours a days, seven days a week. In addition to temperature and humidity controls, the vault has security and fire alarms.

Film & Media Archive Stacks

Film & Media Archive Stacks

One of the Film Archive’s projects this summer has been to reorganize and shift items to create a more efficient shelving system, and allow room to grow for future collections. This involved detailed planning to maximize the space in the vault as well as the physical work of cleaning and reconfiguring the shelves, and shifting the items. The Archive currently holds 6,500,000 feet of film, 1,300 linear feet of manuscripts, approximately 20,000 videotapes, over 10,000 audiotapes and reels, and a significant library of books, CDs and DVDs. At the end of this project approximately 25,000 items will have been shifted and reorganized. This includes the majority of the video tapes, cassettes, DATs, 1/4″ audio reels, and all the books housed in the vault.

Film & Media Archive Stacks

Film & Media Archive Stacks

For more information on film preservation and proper storage and care of media materials the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) has numerous publications available as pdf downloads, including the guide, Film Preservation Manual for Home and Independent Filmmakers.

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