The busy noise of the crowds of students studying for finals has subsided but Special Collections & University Archives is peaceful not because the end of the semester has arrived but because the thunderous parade of carts has ceased. Our dedicated and cheerful crew of student workers finished the monumental task of moving the collections from the basement into newly vacated space on the third floor adjacent to the reading room. Not only are the collections now high and dry but the move united our collections on one floor making it easier and faster to retrieve items.
The students’ impressive work included replacing and dusting 3500 shelves (over 7000 total) and moving over 21,000 linear feet of material. That means that they moved the equivalent of 70 football fields or 4+ miles! Though some of the boxes weighed 40 pounds or more the weight and size of the task did not get them down as the process was filled with jokes and fun conversations.
Our gratitude goes out to everyone involved over the years from the hundreds of volunteers from across campus and the community who helped move materials before the 2008 flood and to our student workers and staff that helped with this move so that those efforts will never be necessary again. Each day as the collections continue to be used and bring joy to researchers, students, and all of us, we can all remember and be thankful for the many hands that came together who made it possible for that opportunity to continue.