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Post subject: Archival Clamshell Boxes  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2013 - 04:14 PM
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Joined: Mar 23, 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Hancock, Michigan
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I'm curious if other collectors have gone so far as to purchase acid free storage containers for their LPs and 45s, either for the whole collection or for rare/signed items. I'm an archives assistant/grad student by profession so I know the value of acid free storage, but I wonder if it is worth the investment for home use. These things can get expensive.

I refer to boxes like these:

Any storage advice for a long time collector, new forum member?
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Post subject: RE: Archival Clamshell Boxes  PostPosted: Mar 23, 2013 - 07:55 PM

Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Posts: 11683
Location: Powell, Wyoming
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Welcome to the RCG.

With experience as a fine art photographer, I'm well aware of archival materials and storage. I have over 20K records so it's impractical to put everything in boxes as shown in the link. My LPs are all cleaned and in archival quality polypropylene innersleeves, with everything in poly outersleeves as well. I use a similar approach with my 45s. My 45s are in steel legal-size file cabinets. I have about 8,000 78s and they're in 'normal' heavy paper sleeves. So far I see no evidence that these sleeves are made of poor quality paper, so I'm not too worried about long term storage. All of my records are in a studio with low humidity and temperature very steady at about 65 - 75 degrees.

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 23, 2013 - 10:07 AM
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Well I echo the same sentiments as the above poster.

First my "credentials" for what they may (or may not) be worth)
Personal collection (started collecting "for real" I.E. buying only quality vinyl and focusing on the long-term storage in 1985)
LPs - 12,517
45's - 14,375
78's - 724
Also have worked in two records stores and currently assist as a silent partner in more "high-end" shop for people wanting to find high quality items which are more obscure.
Also repair vintage equipment from the very early days to about 1993

For the bulk of my collection I use this method, but I started this well before my collection grew to be very large so I was fortunate to not have to drop a lot of bucks at once.

I use the "re-sealable" style sleeves
I place the original jacket in a sleeve with a acid free piece of thicker cardstock inside the sleeve itself
I then place the vinyl LP in a blank (12" single style jacket with die cut center) and a poly lined inner
These are both sealed with the re-sealable sleeves and stored separately.

This helps maintain the original covert from bending or warping, and never really need to get to them much less un sleeve them. Although about once a year I do inspect the acid free cardstock for any discoloration (yes possibly OCD) and check to see if there are any differences in color of the jacket. I use pictures I took for insurance purposes as a comparison.

This method basically ensures my original jackets do not suffer from the dreaded ring wear.
These are housed in boxes in a climate controlled area

The vinyl is stored also climate controlled but are obviously more acceptable. Still climate controlled of course.
Playing the vinyl before hand I check for debris, usually not any noticeable, then again afterward.
If any debris was present beforehand I use a new inner sleeve once the vinyl gets put away.

Its tedious, I know and may be too much for some, while not enough for others. But the boxes you mentioned to me are of the more "silly" variety of items available on the market.
They store 20 LP's in their jackets well there is an issue as I see it right away...I do not agree with storing them in original jackets.
So using round numbers
10000 lps / 20 per box = 500 boxes
500 * $17 = $8,500 !!

links provided at bottom to get a little better price (in US anyway and free shipping as well but depending on west/est o Mississippi it may need an order of 200 USD to qualify)
Also they come in grey color which holds 45-50 LP's which is basically the same cost but materials are very similar.

My method
Well I used for a long time the MFSL sleeves but a less expensive option and protection wise is as good (considering I use a blank jacket instead of original cover is polylined sleeves which do not have any outer paper. This is better too because the glue used for most of the poly inners is filled with chemicals which are not too great, just look at some of the older inners and you will see a yellowing/brownish tint where the glue is.
10,000 poly sleeves = $2000 (rice paper (MFSL Style) or
$1200 standard poly inners
10,000 outer cardboard jackets = $5500
20,000 re-sealable sleeves = $2050

I go to my local craft store such as Michael's (usually with a coupon) and get .40 thick acid free stock in 24 X 36 size and they cut to 12 x 12
Or cut to 7" size for pic sleeves
for acid free card stock = approx. $700

I use varying styles of boxes but the plastic corrugated ones when using my method work fine and for consistency sake let's say I use these for everything
I would need 150 boxes = $1000

So Using the link provided would be 10,000 albums / 8500 USD = .85 per LP (obviously this is not including any inner or outer sleeves, just using the original sleeves or the sleeves you have on hand and having the LP house inside the original jacket

My method:
using the rice paper sleeves = $1.12 - 1.13 per LP
using more standard poly lined = 1.01 per LP

sorry for the long past but wanted to illustrate just how overpriced these are and then you still need to provide some type of additional protection for the vinyl and/or jacket
and also show the cost per LP it costs to protect them.

I feel the above method offers better protection and is not much more than just simply storing LPs unprotected inside this box.
When factoring in the added protection the method I use is much less money.

Here are some links

and here are links to the same box and a larger grey box

While lengthy I hope this helped you to some degree. Obviously there are some rather decent price breaks when ordering in large amounts, Some discounts for large amounts are much bigger than others, I always go with a larger quantity because I know I will eventually need them for the items with larger price breaks.
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