The lower vault is located
beneath the Security Copy Depository. It provides archival storage for media such as photographs, tapes
and motion picture films. Most of these records were separated from their related paper based records when they were accessioned into the holdings of the Archives. Temperature is set at 55° Fahrenheit and relative humidity at 40%,
both slightly lower than in the stacks to better preserve the
Since the floor space of the vaults is limited, compact shelving is used. This moveable system nearly doubles the storage capacity.
Rows of shelf units are placed on specially built tracks or rails running the length of the floor. These rows can be easily shifted in both directions to allow access to any row. The result is that only one aisle space is open at a time allowing for efficient use of space.
Since the records are stored more densely, they also expose less surface area in the event of a fire and so are less likely to suffer damage.
The floors of the storage areas have been engineered to handle the increased weight of the more densely stored records. As a result, this efficient system can be used in the larger stacks as storage demands require.
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