English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

Summary VI at Salon Jewish Studies (http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-vi_13.html)

UPDATE Duration of the rescue process, the new building for the Cologne Historical Archive and COPYRIGHTS (KSTa March 15th 2009 via Archivalia)
Georg Quander (Kulturdezernent [Department for Culture]) makes an appraisal of the situation that the construction of a new Cologne Historical Archive will take at least five years. First of all, there has to be a location for constructing a building. “When the building is finished there must be constant heating for two years to dry the wall that the material will not get clammy or wet.” He amounts five years for this procedure. […]
The director of the Cologne Historical Archive, Bettina Schmidt-Czaia, points out that the rescue of material is still dangerous because the rubble could slide at any time. The rescue process will take at least another six months. The tentative wooden roof covering the rubble is a good shelter though. Wall on the side to shelter from sloping rain will be build soon. […] Schmidt-Czaia addresses another problem that arises now: „Many scientists, that received copies of our material over the last years, are uploading it now on the internet to give access to the resources after the collapse” she explains. That breaks copyright-positions. “It would be better, if these people would give us the copies” addresses the director the scientists. (epd)
The statement of Bettina Schmidt-Czaia has already led to a controversy on Archivalia.

News on the Cologne Historical Archive’s rescue process
Archivists and conservators start drying, cleaning and boxing the archival material from the rubble at the newly established Erstversorgungszentrum (EVZ) In Cologne. The aim is to identify and dry wet archival material as fast as possible to preclud must. Documents which are strongly affected will be dispatched to the Centre for freeze-drying at the Archivamt LWL (Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe) in Munster. (Archiv-in-Truemmern via Archivalia)
Elmar Ries on March 12th 2009 in Westfaelische Nachrichten: “It seems derogatory to the valuable documents, how they arrived in Muenster. There are stored in two metal boxes in the trailer of a car. The valuable books and very old documents are freezing cold and quickly wrapped into Cellophane. Archivists would have torn their hair under ordinary circumstances. The first delivery amounts 8.5 l.t. During the last days, the whole material have been frozen in the Humana-Milk-Union (Hamana-Milchunion) in Everswinkel – ‚minus 30 degrees Celsius, so that the documents, wet from rain and groundwater do not smite from mildews‘ Dr. Marcus Stumpf the head of the Archivamt says.“ (via Archivalia)

After covering the archive’s rubble with blankets, now the work on the canopy is almost finished. (Archiv-in-Truemmern via Archivalia)

A series of pictures on the conditions of archival material reaching the EVZ (Archiv-in-Truemmern)


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