Collections on the Move

Move_emptyshelvingIn preparation for the September 19th, 2017 re-opening of research services at the Historical Society’s interim home in the Newseum, here’s a little behind-the-scenes peek at just some of the steps that went into preparing the collection for a temporary move from the Carnegie Library.

It’s also a gratitude shout-out. The relocation would not have been possible without the dedication of strong corps of long-term volunteers and interns.  With the guidance of the staff, the volunteers and interns spent all of July preparing for a move of a collection that spans more than 1.25 miles and represents 123 years of collecting material relating to the history of Washington, D.C.  Our unending thanks are due in particular to Ann Kessler, Elizabeth Ratigan, Anne Rollins, and David Wood (volunteers) and Ben Durren, Cait Kennedy, and Avital Smotrich-Barr (summer interns)

To learn more about local history resources that are now available in the interim reading room during the renovation of the Carnegie Library, please join us at the upcoming orientation to temporary library services, co-hosted with the DCPL’s Washingtoniana Division, here at the Newseum at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, September 19th. The event is free and open to the public; registration required. Learn More

And below, a peek at some of the pre-move steps.

Labels, labels, and more labels. While the moving company adds plenty of their labels that worked with their tracking system, in-house color coding helps identify both the destination for a particular type of material as well as the level of processing that may be needed in the future.

Labels, labels, and more labels. While the moving company used many labels with their tracking system, in-house color coding identifies the destination and the processing needed in the future.

Before the move, many collections were identified with handwritten labels that while legible, sometimes required a bit of squinting to read, particularly on dark brown or dark gray boxes.

Many collections were identified with handwritten labels that while legible, they were sometimes difficult to read, particularly on dark brown and gray boxes.

Labels created for the move (like the blue ones here, seen pre-packing) will make retrieving materials at their new location a lot easier on the eye.

Labels created for the move make retrieving materials at the new location a lot more legible.

Since some collections will be in offsite storage during the renovation, requests for outgoing loans that were received in the time needed to be separated and processed before the move packing began.

Since some collections will be in offsite storage during the renovation, requests for outgoing loans needed to be separated and processed before the move packing began.

Additional information on where you can see Historical Society collections out and about on loan will be in an upcoming blog post!

Additional information about Historical Society collections on loan will be in an upcoming blog post.

Many hours among the collections were required to prep for the move.

Many hours among the collections were required to prep for the move.

...quite a lot of work happened off-site, such as data-entry parties to keep the label and inventory process humming along.

 A lot of work like data-entry occurred off-site to keep the inventory process humming along.