Daily Archives: October 5, 2009

Archives Month – No Food & Drink in Archives

Black Carpet Beetle, Louis Sorkin

Black Carpet Beetle, Louis Sorkin

Shari Theroux contributed “Archives are not a good place to eat,” to the list of what an archives is not.

Archivists, like conservators generally follow the rule of “do no harm” to the collections in their care. One easy way to do this is to prohibit food and drink in rooms where records are stored, processed and used by patrons.

The obvious damage comes from spillage onto documents that at worst would make them completely unreadable and at least deface them irreversibly. Mold can set up in wet documents rather quickly and spread to other documents. It is difficult and expensive to erradicate once it takes hold.

Food is prohibited because it can attract rodents and insects. Once insects have found their way into books, they can be removed through fumigation or freezing. Insects can eat their way through a collection rather quickly leaving only fragments behind.

Removing human food and drink from the archives prevents them  from becoming the insects’ and rodents’ favorite snack bar.


Filed under Events, University Archives

Far Away Places: Namibia


David Keeling, head of WKU’s Geography and Geology Dept. spoke to a large enthusiastic crowd on Namibia at this month’s Far Away Places series at Barnes & Noble this past Thursday, October 1.  Keeling most recently visited Namibia in November, 2007 as expedition lecturer for the American Geographical Society sponsored “Casablanca to the Cape” educational expedition.  His prior visits included trips to the Skeleton Coast, Windhoek, and the Fish river canyons.  David is WKU’s most well traveled faculty member.  In 2008 alone his travels covered 133,840 miles.

DSCN0850 ~ DSCN0876

Click here for more photos of this event.


Filed under Events, Far Away Places, People