What we discovered was only one cabinet of CDs had been affected by the leak. Water levels were different in each drawer of the cabinet, leaving some CDs completely soaked and others damp from the ambient moisture. We packed collapsible crates with all the CDs from the cabinet and brought them back to the lab to dry out.
Back at the lab, after some brief research on CD salvage (http://cool.conservation-us.org/waac/ttl/wn27-3-salvage at a glance.pdf for a very abbreviated explanation) and gleaning information from our own disaster plan, I opened each CD case and popped the disc and paper pamphlet out, propping each CD case up to let the air fully circulate. I saw this demonstrated in a video about an unfortunate disaster after Hurricane Sandy that affected a lot of different media at a facility in New York City. The short video can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/53849333
|Drying the CDs out on our tables in Preservation.|
To keep track of what could easily become chaos, our department head, Jenny, scanned the items that were in the lab to be able to keep track of numbers. We had over 900 items to dry! Due to table space constraints, it took two rounds of lining up the CDs as pictured to fully dry every item. The truly unfortunate paper components which were too soaked to pull the pages apart went in to the freezer.
|Soaked items placed in the freezer to dry out without getting moldy.|
|Jenny scans in all the items.|
|"Not OK" wet/damaged CDs|
Written by Lizzie Curran