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Subject: Shelving and earthquakes

Shelving and earthquakes

From: Gregor Trinkaus-Randall <gregor.trinkaus-randall>
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Vasare Rastonis <vasare.rastonis [at] natlib__govt__nz> writes

>Could anyone recommend a method with which to prevent rare books
>from falling off of shelving in earthquake prone areas? The stacks
>are made up of shelves that are 2 metres high, 1 metre wide, and
>30cm in depth. I have seen and heard of netting and Polypropylene
>woven straps  used for this purpose, but have no experience in the
>area, and so would like to hear about various solutions and how
>conservators and curators find the securing methods.

A number of years ago, the curator from the San Diego Museum of Art
gave a presentation at the Society of American Archivists meeting on
steps that they have taken for earthquake protection.  Besides the
normal cross bracing, anchoring, etc. he mentioned that they used
rubber tubing around the shelving to keep the volumes in place.  The
tubing can be tightened so that it is quite snug.  However, since it
has some give, there is some flexibility when there is a quake or
tremor.  My recollection is that he suggested using the flexible
tubing used in scientific laboratories.  Another thought would be
bicycle tubes.  I hope that this helps.

Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, M.L.S., C.A.
Preservation Specialist
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
648 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215-2070
617-267-9400 x 236 or in-state 800-952-7403 x 236
Fax: 617-421-9833


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