How to make an archival corrugated box

Download How to make an archival corrugated box  (PDF 336.7 KB)

This versatile box can be used to house many types of objects:

  • Valuable/heritage books including volumes with fine bindings
  • Damaged books (e.g. spine damage, brittle covers, and/or loose pages)
  • Documents, photographs and art works on paper — interleave with acid-free, lignin-free tissue or place in polyester or archival paper sleeves before placing in box (please see our guide Paper-based collections for more details).

Materials required

  • Acid-free, lignin-free archival single wall corrugated board (other archival quality board can be used but the difference in thickness must be factored into the calculations below. Archival corrugated board is available from the Library Shop.)
  • PVA (if possible, use acid-free PVA, if not glue all joins on the outside of the box)
  • Bone folder for folding and creasing board
  • Stanley knife
  • Steel ruler
  • Cutting mat


  • Using the table below, measure the size of the book or object you wish to house. Always take measurements at the thickest point.
  • Following the diagram, write your measurements in pencil onto an appropriate sheet of archival board. Ensure the longest side follows the grain of the board.
  • Place the closed book/object on the 'Base' section of your pattern to ensure the size is correct.
  • The lid dimensions should be slighter bigger than the base.
  • Using a sharp Stanley knife cut out the perimeter of the box so it looks like the diagram below.
  • Slide the bone folder (pointed edge) along the designated fold lines to score the lines prior to folding. Use a metal ruler as a guide to make a clean fold line. Score all fold lines prior to folding.
  • Fold along the designated fold lines. You can create a sharper fold by using the bone folder to rub down the fold after the initial fold.
  • Glue down tabs on lid and base. Ensure the tabs on the base are glued on the outside of the box. The tabs on the lid can be glued on the inside if using acid-free PVA.


The procedures described have been used by State Library of Queensland in the care of its collections and are considered suitable by State Library as described; however, State Library will not be responsible for damage to your collections should damage result from the use of these procedures.                                 

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