Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

From: Helene Idels <hidels<-a>
Date: Sunday, September 11, 2005
The following appeared in Archives<-a t->listserv< . >muohio< . >edu and is
reproduced here without permission

    Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2005
    Subject: Some good news from New Orleans
    Fro: Irene Wainwright <iwainwright<-a t->HOTMAIL< . >COM>
    To: archives<-a t->listserv< . >muohio< . >edu

    New Orleans Public Library is delighted to be able to announce
    that the New Orleans City Archives, which we hold, is relatively
    safe. Although the majority of our records (as well as the 19th
    and early 20th century records of  the Orleans Parish civil and
    criminal courts) are housed in the basement of the Main Library,
    some 18 feet below sea level, the basement remained essentially
    dry. Wayne Everard, our archivist, and I were able to get access
    to the building yesterday, along with another NOPL staff member
    and a representative of Munters. We discovered that the basement
    sustained * no flooding*, although there is a very small amount
    of water in one area, possibly caused by sewer backup. This
    water caused no direct damage to records themselves.

    The Main Library itself (across the plaza from city hall, about
    4 blocks from the Dome) came through almost unscathed. Several
    windows blew out in the area of our Technology Center causing
    quite a bit of damage there, but the damage is confined to that
    closed in room. There is also evidence of very minimal roof
    leakage on the first floor--most of it missing the books. On the
    whole, however, the Main Library is in excellent shape. Earlier
    reports that vandals had entered the building are incorrect. Our
    branch run van was looted and we believe another van was stolen
    from the parking lot, but it is clear that no one got into the
    building, either to vandalize or to shelter there.

    The NOPL system itself has been hit hard--probably about half of
    our 11 branch libraries are under water. But these we can (and
    will) rebuild. The fact that the archives have survived leaves
    us almost delirious with relief.

    We are working now to arrange for Munters to stabilize the Main
    Library building until we can all return and begin the
    rebuilding process. We posted this news earlier to the ssacares
    site <URL:>, where we
    will post additional information as it becomes available as well
    as photographs we took of the Library and the surrounding area.

    Thank you all for your expressions of concern and offers of
    assistance. We are unbelievably lucky, and I think I now believe
    in miracles....

    Irene Wainwright
    Assistant Archivist
    Louisiana Division/City Archives
    New Orleans Public Library

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:15
               Distributed: Thursday, September 15, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-15-003
Received on Sunday, 11 September, 2005

[Search all CoOL documents]