Tip of the CAP: The Great Rehousing Project

The Society applied for and was thrilled to receive a 2014 Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) grant. This is Part IV of a series of posts regarding the CAP assessment. (Here are Part I, Part II, and Part III). 

One of the recommendations made in the report was the rehousing of the Ephemera Collection. We’re so happy to report that this has now been completed! Here’s the story of the Great Rehousing Project, minus pictures of the wonderful volunteers who made it a reality.

While the labor was donated, all supplies had to be either repurposed from other projects or covered by existing inventory. At 30 cubic ft., and growing, this rehousing project required 60 archival boxes, wiping out the Historical Society’s new and reused supply.

A new legal-sized archival document box runs about $5. Interested in supporting projects towards collections care? Please consider making a donation to the Historical Society today!

The Ephemera Collection has been stored in filing cabinets for years. The CAP report recommended rehousing the entire collection.

The Ephemera Collection has been stored in filing cabinets for years. The CAP report recommended rehousing the entire collection.

The cabinets were located an elevator ride away from the reading room, literally adding steps to pulling the material for researchers.

The cabinets were located an elevator ride away from the reading room, literally adding steps to pulling the material for researchers.

The collection includes small printed material, such as tickets, that could easily slip of of the acid-free folders as they were pulled from the cabinets.

The collection includes small printed material, such as tickets, that could easily slip out of the acid-free folders as they were pulled from the cabinets.

The first step was to round up as many legal sized Hollinger boxes as possible.

The first order of business was to round up as many legal-sized document boxes as possible. We’re only showing you the pristine ones in this shot. Many others were recycled from previous projects and while safe for the collection, they aren’t nearly as pretty!

Next, a dedicated volunteer moved each folder carefully from the cabinet and placed it in an archival box, with a temporary label.

Next, a dedicated volunteer moved each folder carefully from the cabinet and placed it in an archival box, affixed with a temporary label.

Interim shelf space was needed during the rehousing process; what had been on these shelves was moved temporarily to another work space, to make room for the now-boxed material.

Interim shelf space was needed during the rehousing process; what had been on these shelves was moved temporarily to another work space, to make room for the now-boxed material.

After a few days of work, these cabinets are now empty and ready to be donated, freeing up valuable collections storage space.

After a few days of work, these cabinets are now gloriously empty and ready to be donated, freeing up valuable collections storage space.

The rehoused collection is now stored on the same floor as the reading room, reducing the time needed to pull material for researchers.

The rehoused collection is now better protected and is stored on the same floor as the reading room, reducing the time needed to pull material for researchers. Bliss.

 

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Policewoman directs traffic at 7th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW, ca. 1918. Photo by Zaccheus Spratt. (ZSI 132A)

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