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Subject: Water pipes in archival storage

Water pipes in archival storage

From: Bruce Bumbarger <bbumbarg>
Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Our Special Collections Department has been offered space for the
offsite storage of archival material, books and perhaps some artwork
(primarily paintings) in a building adjacent to our library. The
space is on the lowest of the structure's three floors. Special
Collections staff would access the space on a more-or-less regular
basis, but there could be times when several days would pass with no
one visiting the space.

The project would include a security system, water, smoke and heat
alarms, fire suppression system, self-contained climate control,
compact shelving, etc. We would end up with a storage area that in
many ways would be better than what we now have.

The one downside is the presence of four large (perhaps 4-6 inch
diameter) overhead cast-iron pipes. One of these is the main feed
for a portion of the building fire suppression system, two serve as
supply and return pipes for part of the heating system, and I'm not
sure what role the fourth plays. All of it is new, installed two
years ago as part of an earlier renovation.

Moving the pipes does not seem to be an option. We've been told that
some sort of catchment could be fabricated to run under the pipes.
This might help in the case of minor leaks, but given the size of
the pipes would probably be of little use in the event of a
catastrophic failure.

We've been told that this is the only area available for our
expansion. We're hesitant to accept it knowing the potential for
problems, but also have a great need for more space. Has anyone
dealt with a similar situation? Any suggestions for things we should
consider in reaching a decision?

Bruce Bumbarger
Magill Library
Haverford College

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:36
                Distributed: Wednesday, February 8, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-36-015
Received on Tuesday, 7 February, 2006

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