Think inside the box

When is an archive box not an archive box? Archive boxes can come in all shapes and sizes, but at QSA we are very particular about what makes the grade.

When transferring standard-sized records to QSA they need to be placed in a Type 1 archive box with the dimensions given below. Suitable boxes are available from Staples, a Queensland Government preferred supplier under a standing offer arrangement. A government account number is required to view the boxes on the Staples website. The internal dimensions on the picture are the dimensions provided by Staples. Provided the box you choose is less than 180mm wide, it should be ok. Check with us if you’re not sure.

BoxSo why are we so picky? Records that come to QSA are being kept forever! Their housing is important. Standard QSA shelves are 1080mm wide, which neatly fits 6 type 1 boxes. If boxes are just a few millimeters larger, then only 5 boxes can fit per shelf. With 100 km of shelving, that leads to a lot of wasted space. So using correct boxes means we can store more of the State’s significant history! When choosing a box, a clear box face is preferred, as we record identifying information on the box so that each item can be located.

Another issue is manual handling. Almost all the records stored at QSA will be available to the public at some stage. Taking a type 1 box (weighing approximately 6-7kg) on and off the shelf repeatedly is manageable for staff and researchers, and reduces risk of handling larger, heavier boxes.

Of course, not all records can be housed in a type 1 box. Our Transfers Officer can advise on suitable boxes for non-standard records. If you’re planning to transfer records to QSA, please give us a call on 07 3131 7741 so we can guide you through the process.

Elizabeth Hawkins

Collections and Preservation

6 thoughts on “Think inside the box

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  1. Very much appreciate the practical advice so we here in department land can understand the consequences of our actions. Thanks for keeping this workable information heading our way.

    1. Happy to help! Let us know if there is anything else you would like particular information on.

  2. A couple of observations/questions.
    Firstly, the stock number shown in the picture (87273038) doesn’t exist on the Staples web site.
    Secondly, why is the inside dimension of the box shown? Surely the outside dimension is what matters? I can’t find any suppliers that show 165 mm inside dimension, but most show 174 mm outside dimension. I am assuming that a 174 mm box is acceptable?

    1. Thanks for your comments. To see the boxes on the Staples website you must logon with your government account number. We take your point about the internal dimensions – these are the dimensions given by Staples. As long as the external width of the box is less than 180mm, it should be ok.

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