The lower vault is located directly beneath the Security Copy Depository. It provides archival storage for a variety of media such as photographs, tapes, and motion picture films. Most of these records were separated from their related paper based records when they were accessioned into the holdings of the Archives. Temperature is set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity is set at 40 percent, both slightly lower than in the stacks in order to better preserve the various media.
Since the floor space of the vaults is somewhat limited, compact shelving is used. This moveable system nearly doubles the storage capacity of the rooms. Rows of shelf units are placed on specially built tracks or rails running the length of the floor. These rows can then be easily shifted in both directions to allow access to any row. The result is that only one aisle space is open at a time allowing for more efficient use of space. An additional benefit is that since the records are stored more densely, they also expose less surface area in the event of a fire and are therefore less likely to suffer damage.
The floors of all of the storage areas of the
Archives have been engineered to handle the greatly
increased weight of the more densely stored
records. As a result, this efficient system can be
used in the larger stacks as storage demands