From Monday 7 to Friday 11 June 2021, we will celebrate International Archives Week. This is organised for the third year by the International Council on Archives (ICA). ICAs mission is to promote the preservation and use of archives around the world for the protection and enhancement of the world’s collective memory as well as to improve communication while respecting cultural diversity.
A number of themes are highlighted during the International Archive Week. One of these is “Collaboration and Networking”. Although we at Bruynzeel are not archivists ourselves, we want to help ensure that cultural riches are protected and preserved for future generations. That is the reason we collaborate with international archives.
Conservation is not only about storing documents, but also about protecting knowledge and information. Unlocking information is valuable if we can learn from it and use it to improve decisions that affect our daily lives. Knowledge that can be unlocked to improve the future.
With its shelving systems, Bruynzeel helps to ensure that the materials that our customers store are preserved in the best possible way. Preservation is of great importance. Preserving the past and understanding history are critical to helping us steer the future in the right direction. We work with archivists to review together how they can organise their storage spaces as optimally as possible, as well as discuss preservation solutions and how they can protect their users and items in the best possible way.
The storage of historical documents requires specific conditions for safe and long-term preservation. Ventilation ducts and filters ensure an optimum climate to protect the archive against dust and mould. In addition to climate control, Bruynzeel’s mobile shelving boasts a range of features to preserve a historical archive collection.
It is also possible to opt for a night mode. The system automatically parks overnight, creating spaces between the units that allow airflow and eliminate stale air pockets – a very useful function in climate-controlled environments. In addition, the system can be linked to the building’s fire alarm. When an alarm is signalled, the shelving system can automatically close or open depending on whether you wish to protect it from smoke or open it to allow gas or water fire extinguishers to access the shelves.
It is not only important to store documents in a practical manner; it must also be possible to store confidential information securely. Mobile shelving systems can also play a major role in this area. Think of PIN codes for authorised access and break-in protection.
“It is also nice that the cabinets can be easily locked, so that nothing can disappear.”
In case of a new archive or the modification of an existing archive, the elements above are discussed with the archivist and the team. In this way the ideal archive is created through a collaboration of archive specialists and Bruynzeel employees.