Course:4: Housing Your Collections
Lesson:Lesson 1: Assessing and Improving Your Building
Topic:Lesson 1 Introduction

Lesson 1: Assessing and Improving Your Building


In this lesson, we will look at ways to protect archival records by evaluating and improving the building in which they are stored. The ideal home for historical records is a repository planned and constructed specifically to house and provide access to historical records. But the reality is that many historical records are housed in buildings that were constructed for purposes other than the protection of these valuable collections. Many facilities are used for multiple purposes and are older buildings with old mechanical systems and less-than-ideal surroundings.  

We are going to help you find a reasonable medium between the ideal and the real world so that you can create the safest and most secure environment possible for your collections. We’ll also discuss what bottom-line protective measures need to be taken, measures that should be your very first priority.  

Your Building’s Bio

Let’s get started by doing a quick evaluation of your facility. Fill out the checklist (items 1, 2, and 3) on the Your Building’s Bio worksheet.  

As you read through the rest of the lesson, you will be thinking about your building and noting actions to take and improvements you need to make. You can record these on the Building Bio worksheet, item #4.

Lesson Length icon

This lesson should take about 1 hour to complete.




Use the "Your Building's Bio" evaluation form to help you determine what actions you'll want to take to create a safe environment for your collections.