Archives reading room re-opens

HOUGHTON – The Michigan Technological University archives are still in the process of recovering from an October 26 fire, but another step was taken Tuesday with the re-opening of the facility’s reading room.

Tech Archivist Erik Nordberg said since the fire, the archives hasn’t been completely closed to users.

“We’ve been operating a temporary service area for three months,” he said.

Starting Tuesday, Nordberg said the reading room and the rest of the lower level where the archives are located will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, which is still a limited service until more work is done.

“We’re still working on recovery efforts,” he said.

The fire, the cause of which is undetermined, started in the stacks area near the reading room, but there was relatively little damage done. About 800 boxes of material were sent to a company in Philadelphia, Pa., to remove moisture using freeze-drying and a dessicating process. They were treated, also, with gamma radiation to kill any bugs, mold or mildew.

About one-third of the documents have been returned to the archives, and another third is expected to come back next week.