cold storage

n.A technique for extending the life expectancy of materials by keeping them at a temperature below room temperature, thereby reducing the rate of deterioration.An area where materials can be kept at below normal room temperature.


In general, cold begins at 65°F (18°C) and continues down to 0°F (-18°C). Sometimes cool storage (65°F to 40°F, 18°C to 5°C) is distinguished from cold storage (40°F to 0°F, 18°C to 5°C). Because deterioration caused by chemical reactions is directly related to temperature (see Arrhenius function), keeping materials at a lower temperature can significantly slow the effects of aging. A number of standards include precise definitions of cold, based on the materials to be stored. See, for example, Storage: Paper Records (NISO TR01), Storage: Photographic Film (ANSI/PIMA IT9.11/ISO 5466), and Storage: Optical Disc Media (ANSI/PIMA IT9.25).Cold storage is frequently used to stabilize large quantities of materials. Cold storage is particularly effective for color and nitrate photographs and motion pictures. In cool storage, materials can be paged directly to a reading room without acclimatization. In cold storage, materials may be kept at freezing temperatures and must go through a staging process to bring them up to temperature where they can be used safely.