ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

The Manual Rescue: Take Two, And Please Help —

Short Story: An attempt to finish off this phase of the manuals (move from three storage units to a storage space down the road that costs 1/10th the price) is going to happen this Saturday, April 2nd, in Westminster, MD. I invite people to make the trip, and if reporters/students want to come to learn some of what the items are, they are welcome too. email me at The added costs are still here, so if if you send donations to it helps a lot too.

I’ll make this one all text. You can read the previous entry if you want pictures – it all looks the same right now. (And if this is 100% new to you, you could read all the old entries about this.)

So, I had to call it on Tuesday, return the truck and pallet jack, lock everything up, and drive home. (It took six hours, because of crazy construction work on I-95.) I’d have liked to have emptied one of the three storage units, but it was just not going to happen. Three pallets of boxes are sitting in one unit, so they’re ready to be put on a truck, but it was down to just me being available on the Tuesday, and I saw an incredible safety and health risk, so I dropped it.

Let’s be clear; this one is on me. I had to spend a lot of time on other projects this year (and a lot of materials have gone out my door, as well as work over at the Internet Archive in general) but cutting things so close to the end of the month was a huge mistake – now I have to pay for these three storage units for another month, a significant cost. People who think I am taking on too much can definitely point to this project, although I still think it’s a matter of the learning curve more than the task at hand.

We learned a lot on the loadout this week so far – how to properly pack the stacks, wrap them, and get them onto the truck. We also know the job is at least one ofthreer people helping get the pallets onto the truck (relatively) safely and then two moving the pallets from the truck into the storage space. We learned that the boxes can go between 30-35 a pallet, That means that we will probably end up with having to hand-load additional boxes into the filled storage room and there might, still, be a small storage unit in use, but it would be really small (and frankly I’d like to avoid that). The cost savings will be enormous when these are in their new spot.

And again, I’ve got a home for about half of the manuals – the Internet Archive will take them, and then we’ll see about scanning them. The rest are likely to go to some candidate archives I’ve been in contact with – they move really slow and that’s been a problem too.

Therefore, the new plan is this Saturday, a weekend, when I hope I can get a bunch of people to show up. A dozen or more would be fantastic – one group setting up and wrapping the pallets to get them ready to go, while a second group is driving over the truck and moving the items into the storage. This could go really fast – the boxes are all ready to go, so they’re fine, and it’s just a matter of putting the stack of boxes into a room. No sorting, taping, labeling, nothing. Just move and move.

I’m open to reporters or students or studying archivists to come to the event – they can look through a few things to see examples of the materials, and hopefully lend a hand? Just a few boxes. That’s all I ask.

If you can’t make it, and want to help, paypal would really help. It’s and the costs have been rather tough on me, personally. (Although folks have been helping a lot, let’s make that very clear.) The three storage units were $1000/month, and doing this into April means that it’s going to be another $1000 that way, as well as the $900 paid for the new space for six months (which is very good!) and renting a pallet jack and staying in a hotel near it all, and driving 500 miles round trip to be there and…. you see what I mean.

But it would really help if people could make it out there this Saturday, early, so we can get this thing stable and not costing so much. It would really help a lot. Please contact me at if you can do it or need to put someone into contact with me.


Let’s put this thing to bed.



Categorised as: Archive Corps

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