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Subject: Flood damage in the Czech Republic

Flood damage in the Czech Republic

From: Tlachova Katerina <katerina.tlachova>
Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2002
I have recently been asked by colleagues from the National Technical
Museum in Prague to mediate their request for help, as the
institution has been heavily affected by the floods of last summer.
Here is the message, and I sincerely hope that it will find a
positive response.

    Plea of the National Technical Museum in Prague for help to
    rescue the flooded Architecture Archives and other collections

    The devastating flood, which hit Prague hard in the middle of
    August, heavily damaged the National Technical Museum archives
    and collections. Almost 90% of the following archives have been
    flooded: Industrial History Archives, unique Aviation Archives
    and especially the world-known Architecture Archives, which
    include complete heritage and documentation of the designs of
    the top Czech architects of the 19th and 20th centuries, but
    also many designs and original works by architects from all over
    the world. In addition, significant parts of our technical
    history collections were also submerged including a range of
    unique historical objects documenting the history of metallurgy,
    chemistry, machinery and electronics including its original
    plans and related documents.

    Most of archival material have already been secured by
    deep-freezing (250 m3 in total) and include the following

        Pencil, ink and crayon sketches--on designer's glued and
        Designs on graph paper and designer's glued paper
        Blueprint and ozalid copies
        Period and contemporary photographs (of various technology).

    The flood also affected the following types of architectural

        Gypsum models
        Paper models
        Wooden models
        Metal models
        Combined models

    In order to rescue the damaged documents and other items, the
    Museum is now preparing a special building with large utility
    space (2 x 300 m2) in which the frozen records should be
    defrosted, washed, disinfected, stabilized, dried and then
    registered, restored and put in a suitable storage. The
    building, which is conveniently located in downtown Prague is
    well equipped with rest rooms, offices and other handling rooms.
    The depository of the rescued items will be also located nearby
    with more office rooms (including accommodation units) available
    as appropriate.

    While the National Technical Museum is able to provide these
    spaces and basic facilities to the restorers, we totally lack
    the necessary technology and practical experience as well as
    much of special equipment for conservation/renovation works.
    Therefore, our Museum would urgently appreciate the following
    technical assistance:

        Portable freezers (approximately 2X3 m)
        Spraying tubs (10 pieces: 5 rinsing and 5 germicide baths)
        Drying chambers and boxes (also for large documents A1-A0)
        Drying tables
        Vacuum presses

    Furthermore, the following chemicals and materials are badly
    needed for the processing:

        *   Suitable germicide and stabilisation solutions (also for
            the treatment of 10% of the records not directly damaged
            by water, but inflicted by mildew in humid environment)
        *   Silicone and waxed slip papers
        *   Acid-free cardboards, record folders and boxes.

    Lacking a suitable practical experience with such large-scale
    conservation and restoration works, we would very much
    appreciate if you could send expert restorers who could assist
    us to set up and run the workshops and provide methodological
    help and training for our own employees. There is also an idea
    behind to expand these works later into a special Training
    Department that would provide education and best practice
    examples to the Czech as well as foreign restorers.

    Since much of our original archival facilities were almost
    completely destroyed we would welcome also a large number of
    suitable wrap materials including

        archival boxes
        drawing envelopes (A3 and A4 formats)
        large-size archival envelopes (A1 and A0 formats)
        acid-free silk paper paper boxes and envelopes for negatives
            (13x18 cm, 18x24 cm, 24x30 cm)

    To safe the damaged metallic objects like historical engines,
    electrical tools and appliances and historical telecommunication
    apparatuses we would be much grateful for the following
    facilities for a mechanical shop and conservation works,

        polishing machines
        bench drilling machines
        rust removers
        preservative oils and waxes
        lacquers and varnishes
        workable plastics

Finally, in order to secure and document the respective documents
and 3D historical objects, we will be much grateful for any suitable
digitalisation equipment including the following:

    A3 scanner for reflective and transparent materials
    PC suitable for DTP
    Office category PC's (several items)
    A4/A3 laser colour printers (LAN)
    A4/A3 copiers
    Digital camera(s)

Obviously, besides of the above listed most urgent items, we will be
highly grateful for any help, including financial contributions. The
National Technical Museum has opened a special account for these
purposes that is:

    National Technical Museum (Floods)
    Bank account of the "Komercni banka"
    (Commercial Bank) No.: 51-2500450277/0100

    Should you wish to help us by providing any specific equipment
    or materials, please, contact urgently the following persons for
    more information:

        Ing. Ivo Janousek, CSc., FEng.
        +42 2 33376014
        ivo.janousek [at] ntm__cz

        Ing. Vaclav Suchy, CSc.
        +42 2 20399240
        vaclav.suchy [at] ntm__cz

        Ing. Zdenek Rasl
        +42 2 33372001
        zdenek.rasl [at] ntm__cz

    Thank you very much for your kind assistance in advance,

    Ing. Ivo Janousek, CSc., FEng.
    Director General
    Odchozi zprava neobsahuje viry.
    Zkontrolovano antivirovym systemem AVG

Katka Tlachova
Czech Committee of ICOM
Moravian Gallery, Brno

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:26
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 9, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-26-003
Received on Tuesday, 8 October, 2002

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