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Preservation Department

Disaster Recovery

The five staff members in the Preservation Department knew what to do to respond to a collection disaster.  The Department also had a Paper Conservation Lab and a area for digital documentation.  However there was not a trained Paper Conservator on staff.

In January 2005 the Library invited the first group of consultants to review the damaged collections and contribute to the development of a recovery plan.

preservation department

Preservation Department

Julie Page (University of San Diego Preservation Department), and Mary Wood Lee (Paper Conservator) in foreground.  Staff member Scott Reinke in background.

The consultants also included Pam Najar (New Zealand). Belfor USA had been selected as a recovery partner by the Library and they sent three people including Kirk Lively and Rachel xx.


The maps were the first priority for treatment.  Xx maps were shipped to Belfor in Fort Worth.  The protocol for treatment used at Belfor was developed in January with the consultants in Honolulu.


The basic treatment required rinsing the mud off of the maps and drying them in Belfor's special freeze drying chamber.

30,000 Maps were treated by Belfor and returned to the Library.


Rare maps selected for a Library exhibition had to be treated by paper conservators Debbie Evans and Jeffry Warda.

rare                map - before and after

Treatment of maps
                    in UHM Library Lab

cleaning maps
cleaning maps

cleaning mapscleaning maps

cleaning maps

map press

map press

Special challenges
                    fire insurance maps 

fire insurance maps

fire insurance                  maps

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