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The Best Archival Boxes

Generated From 25K+ Reviews!
Bestseller No. 1
Lineco. Museum Archival Drop-Front Storage Box. Acid-Free, Metal Edges,...
  • Museum quality storage box in black
  • Made out of buffered 60 point board
  • Protects against acid - light and dirt
  • Features convenient drop front
Bestseller No. 2
Pioneer Jumbo Scrapbook Storage Box, Black, 14.75 Inch X 13 Inch X 3.75...
  • for scrapbooks, papers and supplies
  • Archival, photo safe; acid, lignin and PVC Free
  • Made from acid Free material
  • Product measures 14 3/4 inch by 13 inch by 3 3/4 inch,...
Bestseller No. 4
Gaylord Archival Blue Record Storage Carton 12W x 15L x 10"H (Single Box)
  • Preserve family records, newspaper clippings, photos and...
  • Archival quality: acid-free, lignin-free, passed P.A.T....
  • B-flute corrugated box features cutout handles and a...
  • Your family history deserves the same level of protection...
Bestseller No. 5
Lineco Blue/Gray Archival Document Storage Case, 5" Wide. Fits Letter-Sized...
  • For long-term, protective storage of letter-sized documents,...
  • Overall Size: Letter, 12.25" x 10.25" x 5" wide
  • Acid-free, lignin-free, buffered material protects documents...
  • Comes with an attached nylon string for easy shelf removal
Bestseller No. 6
Lineco Black Photo File with 12 Acid-Free Envelopes, Holds Up to 1000 3.5"...
  • HIGH QUALITY: Archival material created and made in USA....
  • MUSEUM QUALITY: This photo file meets museum standards for...
  • STURDY DESIGN: Metal edge construction ensures sturdy and...
  • ORGANIZE: Envelopes enable even and secure orginization of...
Bestseller No. 7
Lineco Black Archival Photo Storage Box with Removable Lid 15.5" x 12" x 5"...
  • HIGH QUALITY: Archival material created and made in USA....
  • PERFECT SOLUTION FOR LONGEVITY: Great use for documents,...
  • SPECIAL DESIGN: Each box has four internal sections and is...
  • BULK STORAGE: You can hold up to 1700 photos in sizes up to...
Bestseller No. 8
Pioneer Jumbo Scrapbook Storage Box, Black, 14.75 Inch x 13 Inch x 3.75...
  • Scrapbook storage box for scrapbooks, papers and supplies
  • Made from acid Free material
  • Sturdy construction; metal nameplate
  • Archival, photo safe; acid, lignin and PVC Free
Bestseller No. 9
Pioneer Jumbo Scrapbook Storage Box, Sky Blue
  • Scrapbook storage box for scrapbooks, papers and supplies
  • Made from acid free material
  • Sturdy construction; metal nameplate
  • Archival, photo safe; acid, lignin and PVC Free
Bestseller No. 10
Lineco Tan Photo Snapshot Photo, Card, File Box with Removable Lid...
  • HIGH QUALITY: Archival material created and made in USA....
  • PERFECT SOLUTION FOR LONGEVITY: Great use for documents,...
  • STURDY DESIGN: Made with metal edge construction on the...
  • DURABILITY: This box is a 60 pt. acid-free scuff resistant...

Buyer's Guide

Plastic Archival Boxes Vs. Metal File Cabinets

Archival boxes are the best long-term storage container for various types of valuable collectibles, such as postcards, photographs, books and magazines, and even legal documents. These items are usually too small to be stored in traditional drawers or cabinets. Most people store such items in their attics, basements, or garage floors. But there is a better way of protecting your valuable collectibles and keeping them safe. Archival boxes are perfect for this purpose.

Archival storage boxes are specifically designed for heavy documents and are made from heavy-duty plastic or metal materials with an extra layer of padding. These special containers have a lid that is screwed to a metal frame with openings. The top opening of the box is usually a door, but some archival storage boxes are partially or fully sealed with an extra layer of plastic film or epoxy which can also help protect against moisture damage and are available in different colors.

Most archival storage boxes are made from plastic containers of durable, heavy-duty construction. They can also be painted in different colors. The standard size of boxes is nine by nine inches, but some companies offer larger boxes; some can fit twenty-eight by thirty-four inches, some can fit fifty-two by sixty-one inches. There are many color options for these boxes, especially if you are storing your rare and valuable genealogical records in them.

Another useful feature of archival boxes is the use of document spacers. Document spacers can be placed between individual pages in the document box so that each sheet of paper is protected. These plastic spacers prevent damage by creating a space between each page so that the paper cannot be torn. This type of protective coating is also used on envelopes and in many other areas of your document storage boxes to keep your items safe. These spacers will not decrease the value of your boxes.

Archival documents storage boxes come in many shapes and sizes to suit the needs of any home or business. Some are small and barely noticeable, while others are large and nearly unnoticeable. Depending on what you are trying to protect, there are several styles of boxes that will best meet your needs. Smaller boxes are ideal for keeping documents that are not usually needed or stored in your typical office environment, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and other public documents. Larger boxes are ideal for libraries and for holding larger and more important genealogical records.

Archival storage boxes come in many different materials, including cardboard, plastic containers, and glass. All of these materials are sturdy enough to protect your vital records or your most valuable genealogical collections. However, the archival storage boxes that are made from wood are much stronger. Many people use wooden storage boxes for keeping their most important family documents, which are usually very sentimental and can be very valuable.

You can purchase special Archival File Folders to keep your genealogical or legal collections in top shape. These document box protectors work well in archival storage cases and can be placed inside your document box or placed on its own separate shelf. The acid-free file folders are also available and are a good investment for your home, office, or school library.

A good investment in your home or office will always pay off by protecting your valuable collections. You will never regret purchasing an archival storage box, especially one made from metal. The acid-free plastic file folders are great for storing and protecting your family's historical records and for your own documentation. If you like the look of a metal filing cabinet but do not want to have to clean out your drawers on a regular basis, then archival storage cartons are perfect for you. The only word of warning is that it is a good idea to purchase a good quality carton rather than a cheap plastic box.


What is an archival box?

An archival box is a container made of paperboard or corrugated fiberboard (a type of paper product), used for storing and protecting items. They can be fitted with dividers to make compartments, which allow the creation of smaller subcategories within the larger category. Archival boxes are usually acid-free or made from alkaline buffered boards that will not off-gas harmful chemicals into the recorded information inside them (the contents).

What types of material does an archival box hold?

The answer varies based on what size box you use. The most common sizes are letter size (8.5" x 11") and legal size (8.5" x 14"). You can also purchase banker's boxes, which are larger (14" x 11" x 2") and usually used for files.

An archival box can hold anything that will fit inside of it. There is no hard and fast rule on what you use them for. You could store items like:

  • Scrapbooks or newspaper clippings

  • Photographs

  • Papers containing historical information

  • Diaries/journals/notebooks

  • Textbooks

  • Magazines or periodicals

  • Annual reports or publications in larger sizes (when stored flat)

  • Artwork/framed items/artifacts without glass covering them (if stored flat)

The list goes on.

How much do archival boxes cost?

Archival boxes can cost anywhere from $1.00 per box to $10+, depending on the size and type that you need. If you want higher quality archival boxes, expect to pay a bit more.

What is the difference between an archival box and a file box?

File boxes are made of cheaper material than archival storage boxes. They usually have flaps on each side, allowing them to be stacked on top of one another without falling over or coming apart if they are made properly. File boxes also usually have handles for easy transport around a large office space, but do not necessarily feature an airtight seal like archival boxes do (especially ones meant for long-term storage).

You can use file boxes as an alternative to archival boxes, if you cannot afford them. But do not use file boxes for long-term storage of old documents or other things that contain important information that is meant to be preserved; the information inside the box may get lost or destroyed over time.

What can I store inside an archival box?

Anything that will fit inside the box, even if it is oversized (like a gigantic book), can go in there. Try to keep the weight range per box between 5 and 20 lbs; this allows for easy lifting and transporting without putting strain on your back or hands while carrying around excess weight.

What are archival boxes called?

Some people use the terms "archival boxes" and "archive storage boxes."

How do I label my new archival box (es)?

It's up to you! How you label your boxes is completely subjective. If you purchase a generic box, it usually comes with labels that have something like "Folder 1 of 4" on them or sometimes nothing at all. You can always just stick the date on there too. Use your imagination.

What are some helpful tools/supplies to work with archival boxes?

You'd probably need to invest in a box cutter. A ruler may be helpful as well. Acid-free dividers to help separate categories inside your archival boxes is something that would come in handy as well.

Can I just store important information on my computer or electronically?

This is usually not recommended for long-term storage of things like family photos, documents, and other info. Archival boxes are meant for extended periods of time, so it definitely helps to have physical copies of items you want preserved. That said, there's no need to go overboard and buy excess materials when what you really need is one or two archival boxes. And if you need to replace the box, just buy a new one.

What are some rules of thumb I can follow when using archival boxes?

Tape down flaps on archival boxes only if you want to permanently seal it shut.Dust will settle over time and make your items inside appear dirty. This is especially true if you store books or other items with paper pages. Just fold the flaps gently until they naturally stay closed like a book cover would do instead. It's also best to hold onto old receipts that come with your brand new archival boxes (or any box for that matter) because then you'll know exactly where/when your purchase came from in the event that there's ever anything wrong with the contents inside.

Can I use recycled boxes to store my archival materials?

It is advisable not to use recycled boxes for anything really. You don't know how these boxes were transported or where they came from, so the condition of the box itself will be uncertain. But if you must, at least tape any ripped flaps and reinforce with packing tape on all sides so you can be certain that it won't fall apart while carrying your items across the room or up/down some stairs.

You can also reuse new boxes as long as they are in good condition (no rips, dents, rust, etc.). If unsure about whether a box is safe to reuse or not, just ask yourself what would happen if this box fell apart and all of my documents and photos got ruined because it's not in good shape.

Do I need to worry about humidity/moisture?

Some archival boxes are manufactured with an airtight seal (example: polypropylene). If your box does not come with an airtight seal like this, then you should consider using a dehumidifier if the climate where you live tends to be very humid.

Boxes that do NOT have an airtight seal also tend to warp more easily due to excess humidity and temperature changes, so try your best to prevent this from happening (by sealing it securely or storing it somewhere like a cellar). Just keep in mind that some materials may still fade over time even if stored in dark and dry conditions, so use judgement when deciding whether or not to bring a certain item with you while going through photo albums.

Do archival boxes have any specific shelf life?

It depends on the material used in your archival box and how it was manufactured. But if you feel like the seal is no longer airtight (if it ever was at all), then that might be reason enough to invest in new archival boxes. The box itself may still be structurally sound, but the integrity of its contents is compromised by dust accumulation over time (if stored without proper protection).

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