English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/04/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-xiv.html)

Invitation for all donors of private collections
(KStA via Archivalia)
The City of Cologne will invite all donors of private collections and depositaries to the Piazetta in the City Hall on May 11th. The head of the department, Gisela Fleckenstein explains the late date with the task to organize 10 (shelf) m of contracts to find out what the archive holds (held) and who are the depositaries. Fleckenstein says: „In case we forgot somebody, please feel invited.“

Recovery process already finished at the end of May? (KstA via Archivalia)
After a short Easter break, the fire department Cologne and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief continue their work at the collapsed building in Severinstraße. This week the volunteer fire department Aachen is helping. The mountain of rubble decreases every day. “It could be possible that we will be finished at the end of May” notes the speaker of the fire department, Günter Weber, but he also limits: “We do not know exactly how further it goes into the depth.”
A special driller, that transports rock specimens from up to 50 m depth, was used to examine the condition of the ground. “This way you can find out if there is more rubble in the depth“, reports Weber. In the meantime, exvacators pull down the backside of the former CHA building, remains of the reading room and the offices.
Nearly half of the former 30 (shelf) km have been recovered in different conditions. “It will take years to restore and sort the documents“, said Gisela Fleckenstein. “Die several papers and collections are one big mess.“

What do we learn from Cologne Historical Archive’s collapse? (Die Welt via Archivalia)
“ ….. that we must deal with our history more careful. This is not about a building in Cologne that collapsed but about our historical memory. Therefore this collapse is a societal problem, in which the politics has got more involved. Knowledge and concepts exist, only financing is missing. In general, we need a wider awareness of our archives, for they store our history and make it researchable…” , said Jochen Hermel (Institute for History, University of Bonn; Hermel works on his PhD thesis about integration of migrants to the City of Cologne in the 16th and the beginning 17th century)


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