Magazine (archive)

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Standing shelves in the Toronto City Archives

A magazine is a space in an archive and is used to store registry or archive material. In doing so, registry material is to be kept just as carefully as archive material, since the archival evaluation can turn it into archive material. The magazine should have properties that enable permanent storage of the archive material. Some libraries have a library magazine that is usually not freely accessible to the library user.

Magazine types

The main types of magazine differ according to their content:

Size and setup of an archive magazine

Book conveyor system

The required size of a magazine depends on the amount of archive material to be stored, the expected growth and the shelf systems used. Sufficient cross ventilation is only possible up to a width of 20 m. If a magazine room is more than 40 m long, it should be divided into fire compartments. According to DIN 16245, files should be stored in special archive boxes on shelves. Card cabinets or hanging files are also suitable for documents of other sizes and types. The layout of the rooms and the load-bearing capacity of the ceiling are decisive for the choice of shelving. Mobile shelving systems enable a good ratio of usable area and storage capacity. You need a ceiling load-bearing capacity of at least 12.5 kN / m 2 . Free-standing shelving can be installed in angled rooms from as little as 7.5 kN / m 2 . Depending on the height of the shelving systems, there may be greater loads. According to DIN 1055-1 or 1055-3, a paper weight of 8.5 kN / m 3 can be assumed for layered files . Automatic high-bay warehouses and conveyor systems , as they are known from industrial logistics , are rarely used.


The shelf life of the archive material depends primarily on the temperature and relative humidity . Different types of archive material require different climatic conditions. The selected values ​​represent a compromise in order to enable the archive material to be used without long acclimatization.

Mobile shelving in the Herford municipal archive
Archival material temperature Relative humidity
paper 14-18 ° C 35-50%
parchment 2-18 ° C 50-60%
Microfilm 21 ° C 20 - 50%
Color film 10 ° C 20 - 50%
Photographs, black and white 18 ° C 30-50%
Photographs color 2 ° C 30-40%
Magnetic tapes 8-11 ° C 15 - 50%


Exposure to light damages many types of archival material, e.g. B. Paper and photo material. Since short-wave light is primarily responsible for the damage, no daylight should get into the magazine. Light bulbs are unsuitable because of the heat they generate. Instead, fluorescent tubes with reduced UV radiation (below 75 watts / lumen) can be used.


  • DIN ISO 11799 This standard specifies the characteristics of magazines for the permanent storage of archive and library material.
  • DIN ISO 16245 Information and documentation - boxes, archive folders and other wrappings made of cellulosic material for the storage of written and printed matter made of paper and parchment.
  • Law on the protection and use of public archives in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Archive Law North Rhine-Westphalia - ArchivG NRW)
  • Norbert Reimann (Ed.): Practical archive studies. A guide for professionals in media and information services specializing in archives . 2nd edition Ardey, Münster 2008.
  • Mario Glauert, Sabine Ruhnau (Ed.): Keeping, Securing, Receiving. Handouts for preservation in archives . Brandenburg State Office for Archives and Public Libraries, Potsdam 2005.
  • Anna Haberditzl: New standard DIN ISO 16245 for packaging published . In: Der Archivar, Zeitschrift für Archivwesen 2/2012, pp. 168–169.

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