Preservation in a nuclear bunker

Packard Campus

When you think of archives, you may picture dusty boxes or dark closets filled with preserved documents or other media. You maybe don’t think of 90 miles of shelves in climate controlled and “radiation hardened” vaults!

However, that is exactly where the Library of Congress is storing its Audio/Visual collection in Culpeper, Virginia. The storage facility is actually a former nuclear bunker that was built during the Cold War to protect huge amounts of money as well as up to 500 Federal employees. This article from the blog Architect of the Capital details the original goal of the bunker structure, pictures and illustrations of the site, and also the end goal of the Library of Congress to eventually digitize their film and video collection.

Watch this video from the Library of Congress that describes the Packard Campus and the process that the digital files go through to record and preserve them at the facility (it includes robotics!):