Core Preservation Administration Interest Group

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Purpose: Focuses on both broad and specific preservation issues in libraries. Topics encompass physical collections generally, and occasionally digital preservation issues. We serve academic, public, special, and other types of libraries.

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This interest group is part of Core's Metadata and Collections Section.

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  • 1.  Handles on high density storage trays snapping

    Posted Nov 01, 2021 10:42 AM

    I am here with a startlingly boring mystery. And I hope you can help me, fellow preservation people.

    Our HD trays have plastic handles. In the first 15 rows of our storage area (which has it's problems but doesn't have wildly fluctuating environmentals or any extremes of temp/RH), our tote handles are extremely brittle. They are snapping without any handling, just sitting there on the shelf. I'd estimate that some rows have up to 1/2 of the handles broken or breaking.

    These are at least three different types of handles, so it's not something exclusive to a particular batch. Although I suppose it could be multiple batches. They are on all tray types, so it seems unlikely to have much to do with the trays themselves. The hearsay is that they are of varying vintages but I'm still trying to get a lead on the manufacture and purchasing timeframes, so… grain of salt.

    Has anyone else encountered anything like this?
    If you have, what was the solution?
    If you haven't, where do you get your handles from?
    Are there non-plastic solutions available that people like?
    Would you care to speculate upon this mystery with me?

    I feel Iike probably there's a larger issue me to address re: totes, but for now we are what we are.



    Jessica Bitely
    Preservation Manager

  • 2.  RE: Handles on high density storage trays snapping

    Posted Nov 01, 2021 11:52 AM

    Hi Jessica,


    I did see this at a previous institution. The problem was the plastic used to make the handle. If I remember correctly, the polyethylene handles were $0.01 more and lasted well. I do not recall what the handles that became brittle after a couple of years were made out of. I am sure there are lots of suppliers, I will send you our supplier off-line.


    All the best,




    Ian Bogus

    Executive Director

    Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP)

    400 Forrestal Road

    Princeton, NJ 08540

    T. 609.258.1517

    F. 609.258.7633

    Pronouns: he, him, his