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Subject: Earthquake


From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Saturday, December 2, 1989
I had intended to send out a report on the quake on October 28, 11
days after the earthquake, but hardware problems made it impossible.
As some of you may still be wondering about the state of play here,
I'm including an update here.  For those who have heard all this a
dozen times, just skip to the next item.

Green East, the new wing, was virtually unharmed, except for several
hundred thousand volumes that were dumped unceremoniously on the
floor.  A massive volunteer effort got the books back on the shelves
in about 3 days.  After several inspections of Green West it has
been determined that the structural components of the building are
still sound, but that the material between those components (hollow
clay tile and plaster) will continue to be prone to falling wantonly
about the head in the case of future tremors.  The first floor of
the building, which was relatively unscarred has been boxed in with
plywood to prevent potential injury falling debris and the largest
portion of the Technical Services Department has moved back into
their space.  Part of Preservation (Binding and Finishing) has also
been able to reoccupy their newly plywooded space.

A similar renovation has made the 7 levels of tiered stack, which
had recently been the object of a seismic bracing project and thus
withstood the shaking quite well, accessible and they are now open
to the public.

As for the rest of Preservation, it is unlikely that we will be able
to return to our space for 2-5 years.  Until that time, we will be
housed in temporary modular buildings some distance from Green.  We
are currently trying to reasonable design lab and office space at
breakneck pace in hopes of being able to occupy the new space in
January or February.  Without question, some of you will be getting
anxious calls for advice in the next few weeks.

Plans for dealing with the Department of Special Collections and
Archives, which is housed in a severely damaged and risky part of
the building, have not been set.  Exhibits have been removed and
collections in areas that might be vulnerable during heavy rains
have been covered (it rained the weekend after the quake and
everything seemed to work properly).  In addition, all collection
materials have been reshelved (if not fully sorted).  There was
amazingly little damage to collection materials in either SPC or the
general collections.

Since the quake, we have had only limited contact with other
conservators in the area, but it appears that nobody was hurt and
damage was not too dreadful.  UC Berkeley had very little damage and
is fully functional.  San Francisco Public was very badly hit, the
library still closed to the public and their tiered stacks out of
commission, possibly for a very long time.  The library is expected
to open on a limited basis in a month or so.  The news media had
reported multi-million dollar losses at the Fine Arts Museums, but
this seems to refer to damage to a very few, very valuable items,
and probably overestimates the actual damage (I hope I am not just
being over-optimistic; there are going to be several
inter-institutional meetings in the next months to discuss the
effects of the quake and I'll try to fill you in).

                   Conservation DistList Instance 3:3
                Distributed: Saturday, October 28, 1989
                        Message Id: cdl-3-3-005
Received on Saturday, 2 December, 1989

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