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September 2019



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brutti_ma_buoni in photo_scavenger


School grants 017

I posted this as a supplementary for the paper prompt - but this prompt, I'm afraid, is bringing out the archives in me again. I was going to take a picture of a closed archive box, but this was at least a little more interesting to look at.

I'm evangelical about the value of boxes. Seriously. With archives, you want these historic survivals to last forever/as long as possible. They're vulnerable to *everything* (fire, water, light, heat, damp, mould, rats and mice, theft, getting disorganised/reshuffled/lost). A good solid box protects against literally every one of those threats. Boxes don't burn easily, especially when there's a solid mass of them. They absorb water and protect the contents (with a solid archive box you can immerse it in water for 24 hours and the contents will be barely damp at the edges). A box blocks out light and buffers changes in temperature and humidity for a bit. It slows down mice and makes it easier to see if something's nibbling collections than it is with a big pile of papers. It keeps stuff organised, easy to move safely, and nicely anonymous to casual thieves. A box can't keep everything safe forever. But it is a *hell* of a good start.

In summary: the box. An unsung hero.


Boxes! Praise them with great praise!
Exactly! We should appreciate the box much more often. And loudly. *g*
I had never really thought of them doing much more than keeping stuff together - I am now considering the archive box with a whole new appreciation.
It is a marvellous thing. And also not that expensive or complicated (ideally you buy special ones, but they're just a bit more sturdy and chemically neutral, not the province of millionaires). Boxes are (part of) the answer!

(It's one reason I was upset about Southwark, having seen their neglected store, because I knew it mostly wasn't boxed. Solid volumes are pretty sturdy, but loose paper under falling water and then people scuffling through rescuing stuff.. you can see how boxes would make that so much better all round.)
That's amazing! Are archive boxes made of special stuff? I can't imagine the average cardboard box lasting more than several years (depending on where it's kept), but that one doesn't look like it's made out of anything synthetic or metal.
Well, they're pretty solid cardboard (you can probably see the thickness in the photo), and don't have any corrugated infill stuff, which is what makes most boxes quite flimsy. Plus, lids. And the fancy ones are alkaline buffered to help counteract the fact modern paper gets more acid over time. But honestly, any lidded box does a whole lot of this work. It's a good start, with anything you know you want to keep. Just, you know, label it...
<< the box. An unsung hero. >>

LOL! And I love the shot. It makes me want to look closer at everything in there.
*g* And it's all true!

The contents are quite fun too, all about building schools around 1860.
A very good choice - and I love your ode to the humble box.
*g* If I can convince just a few more people... And it's all true.
Bravo to the box! I'm a big fan.
\o/ Welcome to the club.
A very fitting tribute to boxes and a lovely photo. I have never considered all of that but now, I will. Thank you.
Heh. Glad I could convince you.
Wow. Never thought about all of that. Great ode to The Box. :)