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Progress at the Archives - December 2012
For those who have been waiting for a report on the progress at the Archives - December 2012 is another photo story time. There's been some big changes since our July photo story progress report. You may have heard that a first-class set of rolling files have been installed, and you may be wondering - well, come for a quick tour!
Our First Glances Around
Here's a glance around the much larger archives room with several work areas set up in the midst of the pillars and the piles of boxes and books. Rest assured that they are not stacked here and there haphazardly. The volunteers who are in charge of each section know EXACTLY where everything is and where it is to go. They don't want anyone to disturb these stacks no matter how messy you think it looks!
This shelf unit on the west wall may already be as it should be. See the July progress report.
Another view of the order and chaos in the new archives room. We can be thankful for those who are giving many hours of their time to help with this complicated move.
The Rolling Shelves
Here on the east side of the large archives room are the rolling shelves just installed in early December. Perhaps you have seen them in a doctor's office, especially in the hospitals. They sit on a pair of tracks and can be moved over to enter the spaces between them by turning the three-pronged wheels.
Victor Wiebe shows how to turn a wheel to move two or three shelf units along the track. He points out that when the shelves will be loaded fully, they will weigh several tons. But the installers were pleased with how perfectly level the floor was here, so the tracks were laid well; there should be no problem moving these shelf units.
Take a peek through the empty shelf units. In time the volunteers will have carefully placed the catalogued files (or fonds) and books into these shelves. As Victor points out, an archives always gains more material. It rarely decreases in size.
Victor, after spreading apart two rolling shelf units, points out that another set of metal shelf units lined the wall, and became accessible when these rolling shelves were moved apart. This creates something like a small room with shelves on three sides.
This is how the usual files/fonds boxes and books will look on the shelves.
A separate, super secure room has been created in the corner of the room. When donors set conditions or limits as to who may see the materials, they will be kept under lock and key here, and only authorized archivist personnel will be able to show those items according to the agreed conditions.
Checking the Old Rooms
Are you curious as to how much is left in the old rooms we are vacating? This was our main storage room, and it is now about 3/4 empty. Of course, each piece must be carefully tracked. If the archives were a proverbial haystack - it would be too easy to loose a certain piece of straw in it.
This was the main room of the archives. It is nearly empty now, and say, doesn't it look small compared to all we have just seen in the New Archives?
Naturally, we will have to give the volunteers more time to get everything put into place, but we can see it's great potential already!
Perhaps your next tour will be in person?
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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
Archive Hours: Monday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.