By Monica Orozco
In the last post (How we spent our summer “vacation”) I described the major transformation the Archive-Library underwent with the installation of high density compact mobile shelving. But our transformation didn’t end there. Anyone who has embarked on a major remodel or redecorating of their home knows that once you change one thing or bring in a new piece of furniture, it can bring to your attention that maybe you need to replace a few other things. In our case we realized that our Conference Room which houses the 21 paintings of California Missions by Edwin Deakin, still had the original harvest gold carpet from 1967. It was stained and threadbare in spots and was in need of replacement. The carpet in the director’s office and the foyer were newer, but still showing the wear of decades of foot traffic.
In December 2012, thanks to the John Gherini Charitable Foundation, we had the opportunity to install new carpet not only in the Conference Room, but also in the Director’s Office, and the foyer. We chose a neutral carpet that matched what had been installed in the Library Reading Room after our flood of 2011 (that’s another story for another day). Our friends at Abbey Carpet City and Flooring completed the project in less than two days.
The lighter neutral color helped brighten up the rooms and made such a difference! Another transformative project that helped improve the conditions in the Archive-Library was completed with the generous help of our friends and volunteers.
But our work isn’t over! In the 2014 we will embark on upgrading our entire lighting system to meet archival and museum standards. Thanks to another generous grant from the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, we will be replacing our fluorescent lights with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
LEDs do not emit the harmful UV light which can damage documents and works of art (and aren’t all that great for humans either). In addition, they don’t generate heat that incandescent and fluorescent lights can and so are less taxing on our climate system. Also LEDs do not contain any substances which are considered hazardous waste. And best of all, LEDs are energy efficient! This will be another major step in improving our environment in order to best care for our collections. But this could not be possible without the support of the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation.
I’ll keep you posted on this project and others so come back often to check out our progress.