The preservation of Michigan Tech archive documents continues Monday after a fire broke out in the library basement last Friday.The State Fire Marshal was on scene Monday, but the exact cause of the fire has not been determined.Michigan Tech says the fire did not damage an extensive amount of material, but water from the sprinkler system damaged 200 square feet of materials.Six-hundred-eighty-eight boxes of wet documents were sent to a freezer facility in Green Bay. The documents will then be sent to Fort Worth, Texas to a freeze-drying facility to remove the moisture from the wet documents."There's certainly going to be some items that probably will not be usable again. We think at this point that maybe as few as a dozen boxes, maybe 20, so it's a very small portion that probably will never be back here and usable again,?? said Erik Nordberg, MTU archivist.
Some of the documents that were damaged include records of some area mining companies, records from the steelworkers union at the White Pine Mine, and photographs.Nordberg says the items that were pulled out immediately and saved from damage include genealogy records.According to officials, less than 20 percent of the documents in the archives were affected. Their collection of newspapers and blueprints are safe. Some documents are also being housed in a dry room within the basement.Michigan Tech says the archives will remain closed to visitors until further notice. If you have any further questions, you??re welcome to call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.