Document Storage FAQs

Document Storage FAQs

Everything You Need to Know About Document Storage

At Ardington Archives we understand that the complexities of document storage, and the associated services, can be daunting. Below are our document storage FAQs, designed to help answer any immediate queries.  Should you have a question not listed here, please feel free to contact us directly.
Document Storage FAQs

What are the key benefits of document storage / archiving?

Key benefits of storing documents off-site include protecting valuable business assets, managing risk and addressing information protection issues, responding to a lack of office space for other usages, and allowing for a distinction between operational records kept on-site and historical archives held in store.

Why Archive? gives further details on how document storage can save you time and money.

How would service to us be costed?

Each part of our service is individually costed, meaning that on a monthly basis we charge for:

  • Sale of flatpack archive boxes
  • Collection of newly deposited boxes
  • Set up charges
  • Physical retrievals
  • Digital retrievals
  • Confidential destruction
  • Storage for new boxes deposited to the end of the quarter

Ongoing storage of boxes is invoiced quarterly in advance.

Where are the storage depots?

All Ardington Archives  storage facilities are located across one site, based in Oxfordshire.

How do you manage the boxes in your care?

Boxes are stacked on racking and allocated a space when first brought into stores. Each box is given a unique Barcode Identification Number which allows us to trace the movement of the box from initial collection through to the box’s end of life. 

This information is kept in both hard copy format and on our computerised tracking program, allowing us to monitor the location of each box by storage area, aisle reference, and storage bay location.

How quickly can I get boxes returned to me if I need them?

We offer a next working day retrieval service. Simply email your request by 12 noon to request next working day retrieval. Turnaround times are defined through the use of our own transport. We also work with clients to create bespoke delivery schedules for urgent deliveries, such as during a company audit.

All retrievals must be authorised by a nominated signatory.  Our Document retrieval page provides further details on this service.

Who has access to the boxes in the store?

The archive stores are both secure and alarmed. They remain locked at all times. Unaccompanied access is only available to staff, all of whom are DBS checked as a minimum, and most are Non-Police Personnel Vetted (NPPV3).  If clients visit to inspect the facilities a Partner or member of management, must accompany them at all times. 

Part of our procedure is to security band each box before it is put into storage, ensuring that it cannot be easily opened and that confidentiality is maintained at all times.

Do you supply flatpack boxes for housing documents?

We have specially engineered boxes specifically designed for optimum document storage. All our boxes are delivered in flatpack form and can be ordered in multiples of 10.  Further details can be found on our range of  bespoke archive boxes here.

What about cataloguing support?

We provide a catalogue template with your welcome pack and can also offer full onsite training on best practices.  

Additionally, we can quote for providing our in-house cataloguing service.


What procedures do you have regarding the security of the documents?

All boxes are security banded when they enter the archive store and at no time will a box be opened unless at your written request. Full confidentiality is therefore maintained throughout. 

Key staff members are DBS checked as a minimum and most are Non-Police Personnel Vetted (NPPV3), whilst our facilities benefit from mechanical and electronic security systems.  Any movement of a box for Digital or Retrieval purposes is recorded both electronically and manually, and applied to a work order, ensuring full traceability.

What is the process for requesting a file back?

We currently have two methods of returning files.  Firstly, a Digital Retrieval System (DRS), and secondly, we deliver the complete box back to our customers. For digital retrieval, we retrieve the file box, scan the relevant files, and upload them to a secure web area for our client to download when convenient.

This is our preferred option as it is both environmentally conscious (keeping vans off the road) and provides a faster turnaround. However, if a client needs or prefers to receive the full box back then we offer a next working day service (when notified by 12 noon on that day).

Is there a minimum contract period that we would have to tie ourselves to?

There is no minimum contract period. However, document storage is normally a long-term relationship.

What is the minimum number of boxes that you accept for storage?

There is no minimum number of boxes.

What is the notice period for termination of a contract, and are there any termination penalties?

Clients are required to give three months’ notice in writing on a quarter day (linked to the invoicing).  There are no termination penalties, however, if a client fails to collect all boxes from the store prior to the end of the three-month notice period, boxes become applicable to additional storage costs.

Do you undertake the confidential destruction of material and does this incur an extra cost?

Yes we do.  We ask clients to advise us of a review date when the boxes first come into our store.  Every quarter we write to our clients who have boxes with a review date during that quarter to ask if they would like the boxes destroyed.  Clients sign the form approving destruction (this has to be completed by an authorised signatory) or give a new review date. 

If the boxes are to be destroyed we then remove them from storage and send them to be confidentially shredded to DIN level 3, whereby it is then pulped and recycled into tissue paper.  A certificate of destruction is issued upon completion of this process.  We will also collect directly from clients any paper or IT equipment they would like confidentially destroyed. We will also collect directly from clients any paper or IT equipment they would like confidentially destroyed, and we can also arrange the shredding of material at a client’s premises.

What measures do you have in place to deal with external threats such as fire and illegal entry?

The secure archive stores are fully protected against illegal entry and fire using electronic security systems.

Document Storage 1

What types of documents can you convert to digital format?

We work with an expert partner company to carry out the digitisation of documents, allowing us the flexibility of offering any size scan up to A0 sized documents. 

This includes the more traditional A4 sized documents and folded A3 or bound documents such as lab books or questionnaires, alongside more complex X-Rays and blueprints.

Secure document storage solutions you can trust.

How are digital files output?

Digital files are typically output in PDF, Jpeg, or TIFF format however other formats are available.  Scanning is carried out in either black & white or colour format, to a minimum of 200DPI although typically higher resolution is achieved. 

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is included wherever possible, although handwritten notes may not be recognised in this process, and the end file is indexed as per client specification.  Files are then provided back to clients either via secure USB or downloadable from our secure online storage.

Get In touch

We would love to hear from you. Please complete the form and we will be in touch shortly. Alternatively, give us a call to discuss your scanning and storage needs.

01367 718710