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To Box or to Album, that is the question.


MMMM
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Hello,

 

Once again I find that my “Archival Quality” storage boxes are breaking at the corners (they lasted 5 years). I was thinking of either getting new archive quality cardboard boxes with re-enforced corners, or maybe metal boxes. There are advantages to using boxes and disadvantages, such as it saves space but harder to view.

 

The again, I was also considering moving my collection to Albums with slip covers. My collection is small, it is just under 2000 notes, but it may be too large to store in Albums, I am not sure if this would be practical.

 

How do you store your banknotes?

 

Can anyone suggest a good archive quality box that can store 4-5/8 x 7-1/2 Mylar sleeves? Or a good 3 or 4 inch archival quality binder that has a slipcover?

 

Thank you

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These guys have a wide variety of archival offerings. I have some of my photographs, slides, and negatives stored in them.

 

Light Impressions Archival Supplies

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These guys have a wide variety of archival offerings. I have some of my photographs, slides, and negatives stored in them.

 

Light Impressions Archival Supplies

 

Thank you Art; they sell the same storage box that I use now. Do you store your banknotes in Albums or Boxes?

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Thank you Art; they sell the same storage box that I use now. Do you store your banknotes in Albums or Boxes?

 

 

OK. So you caught me. I have some banknotes in a Dansco Currency Album. Most are in a locktop tupperware box - each note is in one of those mylar protectors. And the tragic group -- still sitting in mailing envelopes that I received them in. OK.. I promise I'll get them stored properly this week.

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Albums i feel are the way to go but it takes a lot of space (and a bit costly) i have 17 A4 3 ring folders currently and add a new one ever couple of months, I had to buy a storage cupboard just to keep them since the floor was not big enough :ninja: . I have over 4000 notes albumed up so far and another few thousand awaiting sorting. I travel a lot for work and carting the folders is painful however they give me far better access to my collection than i could achive with boxes.

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Albums i feel are the way to go but it takes a lot of space (and a bit costly) i have 17 A4 3 ring folders currently and add a new one ever couple of months, I had to buy a storage cupboard just to keep them since the floor was not big enough :ninja: . I have over 4000 notes albumed up so far and another few thousand awaiting sorting. I travel a lot for work and carting the folders is painful however they give me far better access to my collection than i could achive with boxes.

 

Good to see this discussion. An album is definitely the way to go. Like Art I have some stuff in a Dansco Album. I also have a lot of stuff in Albums I bought from the stamp vendor Mystic years ago. However, I too have a lot of stuff just in some boxes, that I need to put in an album that I keep putting off. Hopefully one of these days I will start on the task ;).

 

I do have a related question. I also collect commemoratives and try to get them in the original folders. I have a lot of these. Is there a general recommendation on how to store these? Cannot put them in an album, as I do want to be able to open the folders to view them. However, just stacking them up in boxes doesn't seem right either.

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So I think a “3 Ring Binder Box” fits the requirements I am looking for:

  1. They come in Archival Quality: acid free, sulfur free, and lignin free.
  2. They have 3 rings so standard mylar pages can be used
  3. The box acts as dust cover to give it some protection and a pseudo stable micro environment.
  4. And the clam-shell should make the notes easily viewed.
  5. And with a binder box, the banknotes will lay flat instead on edge which will prevent "card warp" that you see in older notes stored like index cards.

 

It is the best of both worlds. Does anyone use the clam-shell 3 Ring binder boxes?

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I do have a related question. I also collect commemoratives and try to get them in the original folders. I have a lot of these. Is there a general recommendation on how to store these? Cannot put them in an album, as I do want to be able to open the folders to view them. However, just stacking them up in boxes doesn't seem right either.

 

I guess you will have to look at each on a case by case bases. I know that some commemoratives that you may want to remove the notes from their folders because, over time, the folders could be harmfull to the notes. But you cannot really do that if the note is sealed in plastic.

 

You could put the commemoratives in the single pocket pages.

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So I think a “3 Ring Binder Box” fits the requirements I am looking for:

  1. They come in Archival Quality: acid free, sulfur free, and lignin free.
  2. They have 3 rings so standard mylar pages can be used
  3. The box acts as dust cover to give it some protection and a pseudo stable micro environment.
  4. And the clam-shell should make the notes easily viewed.
  5. And with a binder box, the banknotes will lay flat instead on edge which will prevent "card warp" that you see in older notes stored like index cards.

 

It is the best of both worlds. Does anyone use the clam-shell 3 Ring binder boxes?

 

I don't use them but I have been tempted to give them a shot a few times. I also like that they can be stacked easily and they would fit in a large safe-deposit box nicely.

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I have been doing some calculations and the space to store 2000 notes in traditional albums is huge compared to just storing them in filing boxes. Boydle, your collection must be impressive to see. How do other people with really large collection store them?

 

I have a friend who collects coins and he has an example of one coin ever minted for the US. He stores his collection in a walk in safe in his basement. Massive. I do not see putting my banknote collection in a safe though, it really is not that valuable, plus the environment may not be good for them. A book shelf may be good enough for me.

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I have been doing some calculations and the space to store 2000 notes in traditional albums is huge compared to just storing them in filing boxes. Boydle, your collection must be impressive to see.

 

It does take up a lot of space the folders are about 2 meters wide on the shelves. It also gives a problem with keeping them upright removing one folder makes the others slump, I am trying to get some metal inserts to help keep them upright. I have looked at big fireproof safes but since i move around for work they would not work for me. When i settle down I plan to build a basement safe but that is some years away.

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It does take up a lot of space the folders are about 2 meters wide on the shelves. It also gives a problem with keeping them upright removing one folder makes the others slump, I am trying to get some metal inserts to help keep them upright. I have looked at big fireproof safes but since i move around for work they would not work for me. When i settle down I plan to build a basement safe but that is some years away.

 

Sounds like album boxes may be easier for you as well and it would easier to ship around. I am pricing some out, but they are expensive.

 

From experience, when a safe heats up the mylar sleeves melt inside, it ruins everything. I think if the safe is surrounded by heat resistant bricks or at the corner of the house, or if it was buried in basement floor (watch out for water) it would have done better. But I guess it all depends on how hot things get. I learned something from that.

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Sounds like album boxes may be easier for you as well and it would easier to ship around. I am pricing some out, but they are expensive.

 

From experience, when a safe heats up the mylar sleeves melt inside, it ruins everything. I think if the safe is surrounded by heat resistant bricks or at the corner of the house, or if it was buried in basement floor (watch out for water) it would have done better. But I guess it all depends on how hot things get. I learned something from that.

 

 

You can get fireproof safes most are safe for paper but you can get ones that are safe for CD's and DVD's you can pick up a walk in sized safe for about 3,000AUD that is rated for about 2 hours this is far longer than a house fire will last. You would probobly be safe with a two hour paper fire proof safe from what i have heard from the lock smiths i have talked to. The only real problem with these is the weight they can weigh over a 1000KG's but then you dont want an easy to steal safe :ninja:

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You can get fireproof safes most are safe for paper but you can get ones that are safe for CD's and DVD's you can pick up a walk in sized safe for about 3,000AUD that is rated for about 2 hours this is far longer than a house fire will last. You would probobly be safe with a two hour paper fire proof safe from what i have heard from the lock smiths i have talked to. The only real problem with these is the weight they can weigh over a 1000KG's but then you dont want an easy to steal safe :ninja:

 

When the temp inside the safe gets over 250 Celsius the Mylar melts into the paper, it kind of laminates the note. I have a few left over from the fire I will try to get a picture to show you.

 

I priced out some Binder Albums and the cheapest I found was for $35 USD each for a 3 inch D ring, and that was for 5 or more. The 3 inch D ring will hold about 100, 3 pocket Sheets. I would need 6 boxes.

 

If I stay with what I use today, which is an archive quality box 8x5x12, I would only need two of them to hold the whole collection and they only go for about $15 USD each.

 

I looked at some metal Storage boxes but they go for over $40 USD.

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It is not a very good scan, but here is one of the better notes I kept from the fire. They were stored in a fire proof safe. The white streaks are where the Mylar bubbled up, and the note itself is browned. Most of the notes stuck in a large lump. Not a very good picture I know. The trick is not to store your banknotes in a fire. The fire proof safe did its job though. The paper was still readable.

Fire_Front.jpg

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That's too bad about your fire there, MMMM. Hope that you didn't lose too much in that. I've gone the FIre Safe route myself, but it's in the basement in the corner, buffetted on a third side by a large bookshelf, so hopefully it wouldn't get too hot. I figure that books should burn slower given their density.... but I'm just guessing by my seeing rolled up newspapers and magazines in a fireplace not burning so well. Like you said, the trick is to avoid the fire in the first place, eh?

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That's too bad about your fire there, MMMM. Hope that you didn't lose too much in that. I've gone the FIre Safe route myself, but it's in the basement in the corner, buffetted on a third side by a large bookshelf, so hopefully it wouldn't get too hot. I figure that books should burn slower given their density.... but I'm just guessing by my seeing rolled up newspapers and magazines in a fireplace not burning so well. Like you said, the trick is to avoid the fire in the first place, eh?

 

Thanks Dave, my collection was small then. It was in an apartment building, third floor; a basement probably would have done better as a place for a safe as long as it does not flood. And the Safe manufacture does not say that anything in them would be unscathed just not burnt.

 

Out of curiosity, do you use boxes, albums or screwdowns? I was just looking at those screw downs, not sure if they are good long term for the banknotes, just like those sealed notes that have been graded, I am really not sure of the survivability of the paper in those.

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Thanks Dave, my collection was small then. It was in an apartment building, third floor; a basement probably would have done better as a place for a safe as long as it does not flood. And the Safe manufacture does not say that anything in them would be unscathed just not burnt.

 

Out of curiosity, do you use boxes, albums or screwdowns? I was just looking at those screw downs, not sure if they are good long term for the banknotes, just like those sealed notes that have been graded, I am really not sure of the survivability of the paper in those.

 

 

I use Ultra Pro archival storage sleeves in various sizes, but the majority is the three sleeve pages. These I place into 1 inch binders and place them into the safe. I used to have them in 3 inch binders, but they were so wide that the pages/sleeves would sag and I was afraid that might bend some notes. I started storing the 3 inch binder flat, but then I was worried that the weight would maybe press the embossing off the bottom notes. the 1-inch binders are thin enough that they don't allow the pages to sag hardly at all, allow me to remove only those in the binder at the time, and are easy to manage. They work great for me for now. I've thoguht about what I'd go to later on, but I can't think of anythign I'd like to go to. There've been several threads on this over the yeasrs, and others have bought more expensive folders/binders and pages for their banknotes, but the cost is high, you're stuck with that system, and several do not allow you to view the reverse of the note. Like I said, what I have works for me... but I know others who've kept them in glad sandwich bags, loose in a metal box, in a cardboard box on the bookshelf, and in the expensive holders in a humidity controlled safe, in the bank, etc. Me, I like to see them when I want to - but I try to find a nice middle of the road approach to storage.

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Dave, thank you for the detail on how you store your collection. I am finding it very interesting how people store the collections. I read one excellent post by TheLawNet called "Banknote albums (and other storage methods)". http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?showtopic=19760&hl=

I thought it was very well written and contained good thoughtful information. Everyone should probably read it.

 

I guess my problem is that I worked in few museums for a long time so I have the preservationist perspective of keeping the notes in good condition for a very long time - versus the collector in me, who wants to view and analyze them – versus the poor person in me who does not want to spend more than it cost to get the banknotes on storing them.

 

So far I have gone with the least expensive archival method that would protect the notes. My collection is just under 2000 banknotes because I have so many I store them in 5x7 Mylar sleeves in (2) 8x5 ½ x 12 archival boxes.

 

The Boxes do take less space than albums or clamshells; they are easier to put into safes as well. However the drawback with boxes is that is hard to view the banknotes. You have to be careful removing and inserting the notes. Another advantage of using a box is that it creates a microenvironment. The humidity and temperature stays pretty constant throughout the year. However, albums with slipcovers could possible create the same type of microenvironment.

Of course storing notes in a box does make it easier to add notes to a collection compared to storing them to albums.

 

Storing banknotes in boxes can cause “Card warping” just as Album bending can, but some boxes have an adjustable support that can keep the banknotes strait. Just do not squeeze them too tight for the same reason you noted about compression from the notes laying flat.

 

So it comes down to preferences, if you want to view or show your banknotes, a good archival album with sleeves would do the trick. Make sure the album sheets you choose can be seen through on both sides. And they do not have PVC. The album should have a slip cover to create a microclimate which is more stable than open air album (watching the changes in humidity), and the Album should not be too thick to cause the pages to slide or bend in the album.

 

If you are tight on space or maybe a dealer or someone who is not going to look at the notes that often then maybe a box would be best.

 

I do not know, any other opinions?

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