PD 5454:2012 Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials

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PD 5454:2012

Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials

Status : Current   Published : March 2012



PD 5454:2012 Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials

PD 5454:2012 gives recommendations for the storage and exhibition of documents, including books and other library materials. These recommendations apply to permanent and temporary storage of documents, and equally apply to material which is subject to restricted access or is on display.

The recommendations in PD 5454:2012 have been designed to help create and maintain appropriate conditions for document storage and use, and to enable a repository for archives to be built or converted to a high standard. They can be used where an archive is located in a mixed use development and can also be used as guidance for custodians of collections in historic buildings, defining best practice for archival materials while recognizing that best practice for the conservation of a building might require a compromise, based on a risk assessment. They have been developed to cover the United Kingdom’s common geological and atmospheric conditions.

PD 5454:2012 is for use by archivists, librarians, conservators, museum curators, architects, facility managers, contractors, engineers and those concerned with the planning, construction, equipment, maintenance and working of storage repositories and their associated search-rooms, reading rooms and display areas.

The recommendations in PD 5454:2012 apply to archives of all traditional archival materials and formats, such as paper and parchment documents, books, maps and plans, and also cover guidance on photographic media common to archives and on more modern machine-readable media.

Information about this document

This is an amalgamation and full revision of BS 5454 and PD 0024, and introduces the following principal changes:

  • PD 5454:2012 follows a different structure from BS 5454:2000. The PD starts with detailed guidance on the nature of documents and best practice for their storage and use and this is followed by guidance regarding a new repository building
  • An update of the types of environment that protect archival materials has been provided, based on research available at the time of publication and in line with requirements specified in PAS 198
  • The guidance has been adapted to recognize a different approach to environmental management. This allows for environmental fluctuations to occur within recommended parameters, such as can occur with seasonal changes, instead of a tight level of stability and control being recommended around set points for temperature and relative humidity
  • Explicit recognition has been made of the needs of archives and library collections managed in historic buildings and other existing repositories
  • A new distinction has been made between the needs of mixed traditional archival materials, where sensitive documents cannot be separated, and those of specialist archival materials, providing four different environmental recommendations
  • More detailed guidance has been given regarding the interaction between the storage environment and reading room and display conditions. A clause containing new guidance for reading room environments has also been included to take into account those documents taken out of storage
  • An emphasis on low energy solutions, first outlined in PD 0024, has been given within the guidance for achieving a suitable environment for archival material.

Contents for PD 5454:2012 includes:

  • Introduction
  • Scope
  • Terms and definitions
  • The storage environment for archival materials
  • Storage repository site
  • Repository construction
  • Fire protection and prevention


PD 5454:2012 supersedes BS 5454:2000 and PD 0024:2001, which are withdrawn.

Standard NumberPD 5454:2012
TitleGuide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials
Publication Date31 March 2012
Cross ReferencesBS 1153, BS 1449-1, BS 4737-4, BS 4971:2002, BS 5266-1, BS 5699-1, BS 5699-2, BS 5720, BS 5839-1:2002+A2:2008, BS 7671, BS 9990, BS 9999, BS EN 3, BS EN 356, BS EN 779:2002, BS EN 1627, BS EN 1838, BS EN 1991-1-1, BS EN 12056-3:2000, BS EN 15095, BS EN 20534, ISO 534, BS EN 60332, BS EN 60529, BS EN 62305, BS EN ISO 9706, BS ISO 18902, BS ISO 18906, BS ISO 12606:1997, BS ISO 18916, PAS 198, BS 476, BS 4783, BS 5306-0, BS 5306-8, BS 7273-1, BS 7273-3, BS 8418:2010, BS 8533, BS EN 2, BS EN 54-20, BS EN 12845, BS EN 15004, BS EN 15635, BS EN 15878:2010, BS EN 50131-1, BS ISO 15686-1, BS ISO 18934:2011, DD 8489-1:2011, PD 6662
ReplacesBS 5454:2000, PD 0024:2001
Draft Superseded By11/30232592 DC
DescriptorsArchive documents, Document storage, Archives, Exhibitions, Architectural design, Library buildings, Fire safety in buildings, Library equipment, Security storage, Fire detectors, Environment (working), Air-conditioning systems, Lighting systems, Document storage devices, Non-book materials, Photographs, Motion-picture film, Phonograph records, Magnetic tapes, Shelving, Marking, Records (documents)
ISBN978 0 580 71600 3
File Size908.9 KB

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