National Medal Winner - Mary Ellen Avery
National Millennium Time Capsule
Protection of the Items and Papers
in the National Millennium Time Capsule

The National Millennium Time Capsule was designed to provide for responsible long-term storage of the papers and artifacts to ensure that all the sights, sounds and written words captured in the time capsule arrive in the 22nd century in the best possible condition. The metals and coatings used for the time capsule were reviewed by conservators to confirm that they will not add to the deterioration of the items and papers within it. Custom-made packaging protects each item, and the capsule is vented to allow the contents to benefit from the climate-controlled environment of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Items will be placed in the time capsule near other items of like material to minimize the impact of unlike materials on each other; the ventilation also assists in that process. Because of the speed of technological advancements, NARA regularly moves data from one technology to another so that it is not lost. The audio and video recordings contributed to the time capsule will be transferred from one medium to another every ten years so that our descendents in 2100 will be able to enjoy them.

Time Capsule
All the letters received from contributors are stored in acid-neutral file folders and boxes.

Time Capsule
The Hawaiian state flag is rolled and housed on a rigid tube lifting it off the bottom of its packaging to alleviate stress on the fabric from folds and from its own weight. Acid-neutral tissue paper lines the flag to prevent offset of color dyes over time.

Time Capsule
All objects are housed in acid-neutral, custom-made packaging. Gloves are worn when handling the items to keep hand oils off that would eventually speed the deterioration of the paper or object.

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