The joy of storage

Never underestimate the power of impressive storage.

The Archives at OSU shares their building with the Library’s Book Depository, a non-public location a few miles northwest of the main campus. Books stored at the depository are part of the less-utilized portion of the circulating collection at the library. The stacks here can store 1.2-1.7 million items. For the most efficient storage, the books are stored with a bar code system for easy access and are organized by size rather than catalog numbers.

As it turns out, this arrangement in mutually beneficial.  The storage space is excellent for preservation. The climate conditions are kept at 60 degrees fahrenheit and about 40% humidity.

In order to reach the upper shelves, there is a lift with a handy platform. All of the aisles are equipped with railing along the bottom for the lift to drive on and then controls on the machine allow the user to move it up and down. This is utilized only by the trained experts employed at the depository and archive… by which I mean not me.

It’s a fairly impressive sight to behold. Extensive, towering aisles filled with books and artifacts, knowledge and history. My brief visits have yet to allow time to search for the Arc of the Covenant though.

But honestly, if I find it, I probably won’t tell you.

Laura, my supervisor, giving a tour of the stacks.


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About polararchivesintern

Kristin MacDonough is a Texas born University of Texas baccalaureate and Moving Image Archiving and Preservation graduate student at New York University interning for the summer of 2012 with The Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program. Say that five times fast. (I'm also an amateur science nerd and it appears I'm a big fan of universities.)

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