holdings maintenance

n. Preservation and ConservationActivities to stabilize materials for long-term storage by placing materials in appropriate housings and environments.


Holdings maintenance includes ensuring materials are in containers, that the documents are supported within containers, and that fragile documents have individual enclosures for additional protection. It also includes all aspects of the storage environment, including temperature, humidity, and shelving.


Garlick 1992 A holdings maintenance program is responsive to the institutional reality that existing records may be housed inadequately or inappropriately; that they are found in an assortment of containers, wrappers, envelopes, and folders; that they are bundled, tied, pinned, and fastened together; that too many may be wedged in one place or too few allowed to slump and curl; that their format and size requirements may not be addressed; that the mechanics of good housing may not have been followed; and that enclosures used to provide additional protection may have caused damage. Most often, incoming records are housed in modern office-quality folders and boxes that meet short-term rather than long-term retention requirements. ¶ With these points in mind, a holdings maintenance program has three major procedural objectives: to place documents into a good primary housing (a container that fully encloses them, supports them, and protects them from the environment); within the container, to group documents into folders for additional protection and support and to enhance safe access; to place documents that are severely damaged or vulnerable into individual enclosures. ¶ Also defined in a holdings maintenance program are the four functional, design, and compositional features of the housing supplies – the containers, folders, and sleeves – used during the course of work: housings and enclosures must perform their assigned function; they must be as simple and straightforward to use as possible to facilitate easy and safe access to the documents; they must not contain any structural features that will physically damage or jeopardize the documents; they must be made of stable materials that will not contribute to the deterioration of the documents in the present or the future.