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Packing and Shipping Audio Media

Even under the best circumstances, shipping audio carriers involves some risk. Packing the objects securely and choosing appropriate shipping services will help ensure that your collection arrives here safely.

Whenever practical, we encourage clients to bring their objects to NEDCC in person, so that handling is not left to a third party. Alternately, NEDCC now offers a courier service within the region. Please inquire for details.

Fine arts shippers offer door-to-door delivery with special handling for fragile objects, and most offer packing and crating services. Fine arts shippers are very reliable and recommended for rare, unique, and/or very fragile objects. Companies can be found through a web search, the yellow pages, or a recommendation from your local art museum.

FedEx and UPS offer overnight (or 2-day, 3-day, etc.) services that reduce the time, and, therefore, the amount of handling that your packages are exposed to in their travel. With careful packing, some collections may be safely shipped by these common carriers. Please inquire with our registrar or audio department if you have any questions about packing or shipping.

Please address your shipment as follows:

Attn: Registrar
100 Brickstone Sq.
Andover, MA 01810

Please enclose a packing list of all objects as well as your name, mailing address, phone number, email address and any special instructions. See: Client Inventory Form. Call NEDCC if you have questions, especially if the stability of the objects is an issue. (978-470-1010)

Guidelines for Packing and Shipping Grooved Audio Media

The following are guidelines to help you get your materials to us safely. We cannot be held liable for any damage that occurs to your objects during shipping. If you have questions about shipping your objects, please contact the audio department or the registrar, and we’ll be happy to help plan your  shipment.

Damaged/Broken Discs

ALERT: Cracked, delaminating or broken discs require special care. Please contact the audio department or registrar directly to discuss options for getting these materials to NEDCC safely. In some cases, shipping may be acceptable with the proper precautions. In other cases, we may ask you to hire a specialist fine arts shipper, or use our courier service for pickup within the region.

Intact Cylinders

Cylinders can be shipped in their original boxes. Please wrap each cylinder box in bubble-wrap, and pack them together tightly into a box. Place this box into a larger box filled with packing peanuts.  In addition to protecting the cylinders from physical shock, the extra layers thermally insulate the cylinders, slowing the rate of temperature change.

Image 1

 After the cylinders are placed in the inner box, fill the box with styrofoam
peanuts, paper, or other clean filler to prevent jostling.



Image 2

Place the smaller box inside a larger box full of styrofoam peanuts or
bubble wrap.




Cylinder Box - Available from University ProductsNEDCC has collaborated with University Products on a new housing design that allows the carrier and its original container to be stored together in the same box, but in separate cavities. The boxes provide support that prevents contact with the grooves of the fragile cylinders, and preserves the original container associated with the object, which is especially important when the container includes important metadata. Please don’t ship cylinders without individual boxes! Contact us if you have any questions.


Broken Cylinders

Please don’t send broken materials to NEDCC without sending photos by email first!

We are currently able to work with cylinders broken into 5 or fewer pieces maximum, but this depends on the nature of the breaks and sizes and shapes of the pieces. Areas of loss (i.e. missing pieces) complicate our process considerably, and must be included in the photos and proposal.

If a broken cylinder holds its shape in an existing container, it can be shipped as-is, with cotton or polyester padding stuffed in the middle of the cylinder to maintain outward pressure, preventing the pieces from falling in.

Image 3

Pieces of broken cylinder may take irregular
shapes that are extra fragile.


Image 4

Fill the cylinder with padding to keep
pieces firm against the box interior.


Once the broken cylinders are secure in their containers, they can be shipped as other cylinders, as described above.

Intact Discs

Discs can be stacked in groups of 5-10 of the same size. If your project includes discs of various sizes, create a separate stack for each size. If the discs are not in sleeves, separate them with smooth paper to prevent scuffing by the outer boards or adjacent discs. If you’re sending lacquer ‘acetate’ discs, please use acid-free paper to prevent chemical damage to the disc. If your discs are un-sleeved or are sleeved in acidic materials, NEDCC will include re-sleeving as an option in your proposal.

Image 5

Separate unsleeved discs with smooth clean
paper. (Demonstration of layering.)


Place rigid inflexible board such as 1/2 inch honeycomb board to the top and bottom of the stack, creating a ‘sandwich’.  You can buy a 30” x 42” honeycomb board that will yield two 16” boards, six 12” boards or twelve 10” boards.

Image 5

Corrugated vs. honeycomb board


If you don’t want to buy honeycomb board, you may use two or three layers of corrugated cardboard instead, alternating the ‘grain’ of the cardboard to improve rigidity

Image 7

Alternate the 'grain' of the corrugated
cardboard to improve rigidity.


Once the ‘sandwich’ is assembled, tape the ends together. Wrap the entire ‘sandwich’ in bubble wrap and tape it shut.


You may adhere a small piece of paper to the middle of the
tape to protect the discs or their sleeves from the adhesive.


Wrap the entire ‘sandwich’ in one or two layers of bubble wrap, and tape it shut.

Image 9

Wrap the entire 'sandwich' in bubble wrap.



Pack the 'sandwich' in a larger box
with styrofoam packing peanuts.

Place the bubble wrapped sandwiches in a larger box full of styrofoam packing peanuts to further protect the discs from shock. It’s OK to pack several groups of discs together as long as there is sufficient space between the sandwiches and the outer box.

Image 10

For small stacks (less than 5 discs), single discs, or large
discs, we highly recommend investing in honeycomb board.