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Program Audio Visual Conservation

Campus Features

The Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation is located on 45-acres near Culpeper, Virginia, 75 miles southwest of Washington, DC near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus is built into the side of Mount Pony, the highest slope in Culpeper County, and features an adaptive reuse and expansion of a previously existing underground Federal Reserve Bank facility. Below are some highlights about the facility and its features:

  • Primarily underground with sod roofs blending into the existing contour lines; great care was taken to minimize the visual impact on the landscape
  • Only the Conservation Laboratory building appears from the hill in a semi-circular terraced arcade to allow natural light into the administrative and work areas
  • Largest private sector re-forestation project on the eastern seaboard (over 9000 trees planted and nearly 200,000 individual plantings)
  • 6.3 million collection items (1.2 million moving image, 3 million recorded sound, 2.1 supporting scripts, posters, photos, etc.)
  • State-of-the-art storage environment, including below-freezing for film masters
  • Nearly 90 miles of shelving for sound and moving image collections
  • 124 nitrate film vaults—the largest in the western hemisphere
  • Fully equipped to play back and preserve all antique film, video and sound formats
  • First archive to preserve digital content at the petabyte (1 million gigabyte) level
  • 200 seat theater capable of projecting both nitrate film and modern digital cinema, and featuring an organ rising from under the stage to accompany silent film screenings
  • Public listening auditorium for playback of all sound formats
  • High-speed fiber-optic connectivity between the Packard Campus and the Moving Image and Recorded Sound reading rooms on Capitol Hill
  • Digital access copies made during preservation process provide researchers with playback on demand in the reading rooms

The entire campus includes 415,000 square feet of useable space in four campus buildings:

  • Collections Storage Building for all recorded sound, safety film and video tape collections (135,000 SF)
  • Conservation Building for all staff and the sound, video and film reformatting laboratories (175,000 SF)
  • Nitrate Vaults built to exacting fire codes for the storage of pre-1951 films surviving on nitrate stock (55,000 SF)
  • Central Plant for mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems (50,000 SF)
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