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Bloated File Cabinets, Where to Store the Hard Stuff

Mar 31, 2008
The times we live in are quite convenient in terms of communication whether you hail from a cubicle dwelling or man an oil rig in the gulf. Communication happens at the speed of a key click and the office vernacular these days typically revolves around abstract virtual talk. When someone means folder, typically they're speaking of something found on a computer hard drive rather than on a shelf. Yet we still find the need for hard copies though. And some artifacts simply can't be stored and still retain the same value at the same time. So, proper record storage facilities are in demand.

The following will be a bit of a brief on what kinds of records are often stored and, if those records are to be archived, where many companies choose to put the overflow.

Record Storage: What it is and Where

It probably seems like a no brainer thinking that if one has a stash of records that they should simply get a big old file cabinet and to assume that is going to be home for the stuff -- out of sight out of mind. Well it may still be on someone's mind, just that certain someone may be an untrustworthy sort who can do some serious damage to your business or lives whose personal data is printed on those pages. Also, in some industries keeping records in a typical building atmosphere will most certainly destroy it physically (think of the yellowed and crumbling U.S. Constitution left in a library drawer for 200 years unshielded).

Records that are stored long term tend to be because of their value. So, first off it's necessary before archiving to identify if the document is worthy of storage. The record needs to be verified for its relevance and authenticity. Museum record storage is a prime example. It's not usual to get a radiocarbon date on some of that stuff to ensure it's the real deal.

To touch again on where records storage is in relation to environment, it's necessary to determine how well the records will fare if left in a typical open air setting. Some documents do not do well in a file cabinet. Where the records are stored hinge strongly on two points: the ease of access to retrieve them and to make sure they are well kept from environmental forces. Temperature and humidity controls are often a factor to determine and well as disaster proofing the storage facility. Many private companies are employed to manage these tasks in their warehouses.

Another point is that records will often simply not be needed again or a security issue comes up where the information needs to be disposed of. Simple shredding of documents can lead to incriminating circumstance (Enron rings a bell). So standards are a big issue that companies have to comply with before paper is fed to the blades.
About the Author
North Western Warehouse (http://www.nwwcom.com/records/records.php) is a private record storage group who provides secure space for storing a variety of records material as well as adequate shredding options for businesses both public and private. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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