Friday, November 16, 2012

Michigan Tech Archives services to reopen Nov. 19 with limited hours

By Erik Nordberg, archivist, Van Pelt and Opie Library
HOUGHTON -- A temporary Archives service will operate on a limited basis starting on Monday, Nov. 19 in Michigan Tech's Van Pelt and Opie Library. An area will be accessible through the library's north stairwell and will operate from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Due to the disaster, portions of the Archives collections will not be accessible initially. But other materials, including microfilm collections, topical vertical files, city directories and portions of the Archives' manuscript collections will be available for use in this temporary service area. Additional information about Archives services and access to its collections may be directed to or 487-2505.

The Archives and entire garden level of the Van Pelt and Opie Library remain closed. Library materials on this floor, including government documents and older print journals, may be requested at the main Library Service Desk. Additional information about library services and access to collections on the Garden level may be directed to 487-2508 or

Archives Disaster Recovery Update

Recovery work continues at the Michigan Tech Archives following a small fire and zoned sprinkler release on Friday, Oct. 26. Personnel from Facilities Management have begun to schedule necessary repairs to the Archives stacks area. Several light fixtures will be replaced, as well as all of the area's ceiling tiles. Carpeting throughout the room will be removed and replaced with hard tile, with some repair to drywall and the replacement of floor moldings. Several sections of metal shelving damaged by the fire will also be replaced. The timetable for completion of this work is not yet finalized, but it is likely that work will not be completed until sometime into December.

Work is underway to assess and treat documents and photographs affected by the fire and water release. Archives' staff have begun the process to re-house and return more than 700 boxes of material to their original order in appropriate archival storage boxes. Many of these items were temporarily removed from wet boxes on the afternoon of the disaster. Another 688 boxes of very wet materials were sent to Green Bay for cold storage. Personnel from Belfor, the professional disaster recovery firm engaged by the University to assist with the project, are arranging to transport this material to a freeze drying facility in Ft. Worth, Texas, for further treatment. It is unclear how much of this may be damaged beyond repair or when the recoverable portions may return to Houghton.

The Library again shares its appreciation to its staff and friends who assisted with the immediate recovery efforts at the time of the fire. The work of these individuals helped to avoid a much larger loss of irreplaceable local history resources.

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