From Chaos to Order: Making Artifact Storage Work For You

  • Hilary Seo (Iowa State University)
  • Sonya Barron (Iowa State University)


When you are processing a collection and find yourself in need of a box, the easiest thing to do is to grab one off the shelf. But, while archival boxes come in standard sizes, artifacts do not! The standard box needs to be physically modified to do its job properly. Ideally, an archival enclosure should provide the following: proper fit, clear and visible identification, easy access, and an option to display. It sounds like a tall order, but really, it is pretty simple to achieve. This talk will be geared toward an audience with little to no hands-on experience in box construction. A wide range of artifacts will be covered. With numerous images and “how-to” tips, we will show examples of simple enclosure modifications, which you can implement on your own. We will talk about the materials needed and where to purchase them. We will also share case studies of more complex housing designs, which may require the services of a professional. Additionally, we will touch upon the big-picture considerations of making the most of the artifact storage space in your archives or library. At the end of the presentation, you will have a chance to examine actual samples of enclosures with “mock” collection materials.

How to Cite:

Seo, H. & Barron, S., (2017) “From Chaos to Order: Making Artifact Storage Work For You”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2017(1).

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Published on
06 Apr 2017