I drove down to Baltimore yesterday, sorted manuals for the day, and then drove back.
First, I stopped by the Manuals Plus warehouse to see the current status of the manuals that we left behind. Answer: Gone. Thrown out. Recycled.
So there you go – that’s what would have happened if we’d not organized and arrived within 5 days of being told it was being thrown out. Except, of course, we got quite a bit of things before having to leave the rest behind.
I’ve seen some share of criticism of this process, but people need to remember that whole “It was Friday and I was told it would be thrown out on Wednesday” thing. Spoiler: It’s kind of vital to why we had to work we did at the speed we did. And the outcome was really nice.
The manuals we saved are in three storage units at a storage place down the road from the warehouse. I planned to go to the units, and work with whoever showed up. As it turned out, one person showed up.
The reasons for this are obvious – little relative warning, middle of the day, etc. But there we were – me and Eric and a storage unit full of stuff:
There were a notable amount of people horrified that the boxes were sitting straight on the concrete – apparently outside of flood risk, concrete has a habit of transmitting moisture through the ground to whatever’s sitting on it. Something had to be done, and we went with wooden pallets.
Then it was a “simple matter” of us going through all the boxes in the storage unit and making a very quick determination if it was “Hewlett-Packard”, “Tektronix”, or “Other”. You see… there’s an awful lot of HP materials – like thousands of manuals. Same for Tektronix. Those should be noted and set up to be mostly near each other, while I figure out the next move.
The result of a full day’s work was this:
Everything’s on wood now. Stuff is still piled a little high, but we sorted it out, so there’s a clear set of “HP/Tektronix” piles and then piles and other stuff. (Any situation where these HP/Tektronix items go to another home will require a last QA check to make sure other manuals aren’t in there too.) We labelled as best we can, so that eventually, the HP might have its own unit, while the brand names on the box will make scanning choices slightly better.
It was a hot box. I sweat. A lot. This was sweat:
But ultimately, we hit a good break point – the boxes are better than the initial load-in. Now I just need to come back down and do the rest. I also have a lot of calls to make to engineering museums, libraries, archives, and other groups I know. These things need a permanent home that doesn’t have the word “EZ-Storage” at the front of it.
I drove 570 miles in 24 hours just now to do this shoring up.
Totally worth it.
Categorised as: Archive Corps
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