ENMU Special Collections Update

By Craig W. Chrissinger: After a late-December flood damaged several books and periodicals in Eastern NM University’s temporary storage for its special collections, librarian Gene Bundy revealed during the Williamson Lectureship on April 6 that items are ready to come back from freeze-dried vacuum storage in Fort Worth, TX.

Once the damaged items are returned to Portales, Bundy and his staff will be able to evaluate whether they are salvageable or not. The freeze drying process is supposed to draw moisture out of the paper, and leave the printed materials flat (with no warping) if done properly.

At the same time, the heavily renovated Golden “Student Success Center” is not finished for the public, but librarians are starting to move archives and library books back into the building. Space for special collections is much smaller than before, and there are no glass cases to safely store rare books and Jack Williamson’s many awards.

Sadly, book shelving installed into the main space for special collections are four inches wider than standard, thus eliminating a whole row of shelving in the room to meet ADA requirements. There also is no room for glass cases, even if they were saved from the original library space.

Bundy and staff will be spending the next month moving everything back, and figuring out how to make all the special collections items fit into the revised, smaller space.

“We’ll make it work, but it’s going to be a real challenge,” he said.

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