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 Thousands of historic photos, maps damaged in Parks Canada building flood

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مُساهمةموضوع: Thousands of historic photos, maps damaged in Parks Canada building flood   الإثنين مايو 17, 2010 7:16 pm

By Darah Hansen, Vancouver Sun May 15, 2010

Parks Canada is taking time out from protecting the wilderness this week to rescue thousands of historic photos, slides, documents, maps and books from a major flood in its downtown Revelstoke headquarters.

"It has been really hard," said Marnie DiGiandomenico, spokeswoman for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks in the B.C. Interior, of the emotional toll of the cleanup.
Dismayed Parks Canada staff arrived at work early Tuesday morning to find the 6,000-square-foot basement of their leased office space under two metres (seven feet) of water. The flood badly damaged the parks' huge archival inventory documenting the cultural and natural history of the area to the early 1900s.
"It was underwater," DiGiandomenico said.
She credited the quick action of staff for rescuing much of the historic material.
Thousands of soggy photos and slides -- among them early images of Glacier House, one of Canada's first tourist hotels, and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway -- were immediately dunked into buckets of cold water as a temporary method of preservation as they are sorted and hung to dry.
Damaged paper documents -- including historic reports, books and maps -- have been shipped by the truck load to freezer facilities around the province until they can be dealt with.
"What that does is it buys us time to make a decision and prevent any further deterioration," DiGiandomenico said.
Parks Canada has since brought in contractors to help in the cleaning and sorting process. Meanwhile, parks employees have been dispatched to temporary office space until the downtown facility is restored.
Some archival items are beyond repair, DiGiandomenico acknowledged, adding many paper documents have been tossed out.
But just how much history was lost has yet to be quantified.
DiGiandomenico said the flood will likely change the way Parks Canada stores its historical records.
The cause of the flood remains under investigation by the office building's management staff.
dahansen@vancouversun.com© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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