Digging in the hole which was once an archive

The Koln archive is currently sitting at the bottom of a large hole filled with rubble etc.  This link gives information on an appeal for volunteers to help dig out the archive material. 

Some entirely unofficial (as he notes) remarks posted to Mediev-L by Alexander Regh:

Short news update: Approximately 40% of the documents in the archive were stored in buildings in the back of the main building and were unharmed. Another 20% have been retrieved now from the rubble, in varying conditions. Some not damaged at all, others torn to shreds, and everything in between. Which means that another roughly 40% of the documents are still missing.

Among the things saved are a large collection of seals and one of the two manuscripts by Albertus Magnus.

Unfortunately, many of the more valuable documents were stored on the fourth floor of the main building, because in Cologne, there is always some worry about flooding. Which means whatever was stored there is now right in the middle of the rubble heap.

On the site itself, the search for a missing person currently still has priority, which means that retrieving the documents in a systematic way is a secondary concern. Every bit of rubble removed is checked by hand for documents though. The roof that is going to protect the rubble is coming up nicely, after stability problems in the last days. Rescue operations are also constantly hampered by the unstable ground.

http://www.historischesarchivkoeln.de/index.php?lang=en is not an official site, but they are collecting any digital copies of material from the town archive.

I wonder if the archive did its best to ensure that these copies were as few as possible, if it’s like most such institutions?  If so, I wonder if they feel a bit short-sighted now?  I’ve written to enquire; it seems like a good time to point out the merits of allowing readers to photograph.

http://archiv.twoday.net/ is also an archivists blog that tries to keep up-to-date and some articles are in English. There is n particular an article about coordinating help offers.

Pictures from the Rescue Work at the scene w. English comments


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