n. (also phased box)a simple, relatively inexpensive box designed to protect books, scrapbooks, albums, and similar itemsSung, Leonov, and Waters 1990, 306, fn. 8A phase box is usually a temporary container made of archivally acceptable materials to protect the item until conservation treatment can begin. It was originally developed to give minimal protection to many items at a small cost relative to the expense of full conservation.Ritzenthaler 2010, 209Phased boxes, which are the least expensive boxing option, provide intermediate protection to materials awaiting treatment, or they may be used for permanent storage. They are relatively easy to construct and may be fabricated in-house or purchased in standard or custom sizes from archival suppliers.TXGLO 2018A phase box is a custom-made enclosure that minimizes light and dust exposure to the object stored within it, and is a common tool used by archivists. Phase boxes take their name from their role as part of phased preservation—that is, they were meant to be a phase in the life of a book on the continuum from basic preservation to full conservation (should the volume merit such intervention).
The concept of the phase box, or phased box, came from the Library of Congress’s “phased” approach to preservation in the early 1970s under the leadership of Peter Waters. Don Etherington designed a temporary wrapper for books in need of conservation.A phase box is typically a four-flap enclosure in which the boards are creased so that they can be wrapped around the book and are held together with string or hook-and-loop fasteners. Such enclosures were originally envisioned to provide temporary protection but are now often used permanently to stabilize materials that will not receive conservation work.