“Oh, Johnny! I just love shelf paper”
It seems a little silly to gush about our shelves the way Lil Sheridan does in “Johnny Dangerously’” (a highly underappreciated movie starring Michael Keaton, 1984. I highly recommend adding it to your Netflix queue. http:///www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct6d1fADsbM&feature=related) but we are really delighted!
As you probably know from our blog posts this summer, we hit our maximum storage capacity in the archives in July when we brought in three large collections (National Council of Jewish Women, American Jewish Congress and Yeshivat Rambam). When Hurricane Irene threatened to strike Baltimore we pulled the Yeshivat Rambam collection off the floor and put them on plastic tables, but we still did not have a permanent home for this material.
Don’t worry, you Nervous Nelly collections manager-types! The Collections Committee had serious conversations about whether the JMM was being irresponsible in accepting this much archival material when we knew that we didn’t have the capacity to house it. After weighing pros and cons, the Committee agreed that it would be worse to allow the archives to be tossed and lost forever, particularly when building expansion was being discussed. Further, there was enough space in storage room 2 to install an additional range of high density mobile storage. Our good friend (and former JMM archivist) Erin Titter from Storage Logic drew up plans for a new range of high density shelves for the basement and static shelves for the loading dock.
Funding from the France-Merrick Foundation for the Campus Master Plan and from Willard Hackerman for high density shelving could not have come at a better time. The tables were buckling from the weight of the boxes! (Sadly, I don’t have a picture. I guess I was afraid the table would collapse with me under it.)
Believe it or not, getting new shelves in the basement required us to thoroughly clear out the loading dock. We’d accumulated about ten years-worth of stuff—exhibition components, tools, program accessories, publications and packing materials—that needed to be weeded, sorted, stored, tossed or recycled.
There were multiple trips to the city dump to recycle outdated publications. And then, against Avi’s protests, the perimeter of the board room was filled with boxes (labeled on all sides) of the materials we were keeping.
I won’t bore you with a step by step explanation of how the shelves were installed since we photo documented everything:
*Coming Soon to This Blog Post* [Grout] A short video of grouting the tracks into the floor. That stuff dries fast so the guys have less than 15 minutes from the time they mix it to the time it dries.
And if you think that was fun, wait until Jennifer and Rachel finish their time-lapse video of loading up the shelves. It’s pretty awesome.
Thanks again to Willard Hackerman for funding our collections storage project. We are truly grateful for your generosity.