Section 6: shipping of media carriers
Sometimes collection materials must be moved in-house or to a third party location. Even when transporting media carriers within the archive, careful handling is essential to protect the media from climatic changes, stray magnetic fields, and shock. Be sure items are secured on rolling carts and avoid bumps and uneven floors when moving collection items.
When shipping collection materials, ensure that the ambient temperature in the transport vehicle does not exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F are acceptable, and this may require that materials are stored in containers that can maintain this temperature range while en route. In general, it is best to transport materials when outside temperatures are similar to materials’ storage conditions, although this is not always possible. Avoid large swings in temperature and humidity.
If you are going to ship audio and video cassettes and open reel tapes, be sure that each tape is supported by its container. Ship them the way you store them: on edge. It is most important to avoid shifting and shock. When packing smaller items within bigger boxes, be sure to surround them with enough packing materials so that they do not move or rub together during transport.
Discs of the same size can be stacked together horizontally in groups of five to ten. Separate each disc from its neighbors by placing each disc in a sleeve or by placing a smooth piece of paper between each pair of discs. Place each stack of five to ten discs between two rigid boards, creating a “sandwich.” 1/2 inch honeycomb board or multiple layers of corrugated cardboard will work. Tape the edges together, taking care that no adhesive directly touches a disc. Wrap the entire sandwich in bubble wrap, and tape it closed. Place this package in a larger box and surround it with packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Multiple sandwiches may be placed in one larger box as long as there is room for padding between the sandwiches and the exterior box.
Cylinders may be shipped in their boxes. Wrap each box individually in bubble wrap, then place the wrapped boxes upright in a larger box. Make sure these boxes are tightly packed; if there is room for motion, fill in the spaces with bubble wrap or packing peanuts. Tape the box closed, then place the box in a larger box. Fill the spaces with packing peanuts or bubble wrap.
Film can be damaged during transport if not packed correctly. It is important to protect film rolls against slipping. Check each film can for space and fill any existing space with bubble wrap or acid-free paper so it fits snugly. Place like-sized cans horizontally in a box, filling any gaps with bubble wrap or packing peanuts to ensure the films will not move during transport.