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Tag: Federal Record Center

Working at the National Archives: Inside the Ice Cube

Staff wear hooded parkas and gloves to stay warm while packing film in the Ice Cube.

Today’s guest post is by Bob Beebe, archives technician at the Federal Records Center in Lenexa, Kansas.

Where’s the coolest place to work at the National Archives? The Ice Cube, of course!

At the Federal Records Center (FRC) in Lenexa, Kansas, one storage bay stands out from all of the other rooms at our facility. It is a stand-alone room, equipped with state-of-the-art scanners and barcodes. And it is just a bit cooler than the rest of the center, checking in at 35°F in the main room and 25°F in the freezer. We refer to the room as the “Ice Cube,” and the items stored in the room are assorted types of film.

The staff members who volunteer to work in the Ice Cube wear parkas, overalls, and gloves to keep warm. We have three to four staff trained to work in the Ice Cube, and they are rotated on a weekly basis. Most weeks, a single person takes care of all of the work for the area with extra help for quality control checks and on the occasional day when we receive a high number of requests. We use barcoding to keep track of the more than 350,000 items stored in the 77,000 feet of space.

Scanning can

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Working in the National Archives: Caves

Entrance to the National Archives in Lee's Summit, Missouri

Today’s guest post is by Dana Roark, archives technician at the Lee’s Summit Federal Records Center.

One of the most vivid memories I have of my first day at Lee’s Summit, a National Archives facility, was the drive in to my new workplace. As I rounded the corner of the driveway, I came face-to-face with the yawning black mouth of a limestone mine.

As you can imagine, I was a little intimidated as I slowly drove in. I was even more intimidated when I was first taken out into the stacks. I spent the first month (at least!) getting lost as I tried to navigate through the labyrinth of huge rooms. Thank goodness my supervisor took pity on me and drew me a map, or I would have never made it out of the office!

I am a Missouri girl from St. Louis and DeSoto,  a little town about an hour south of St. Louis. Missouri is known as the “cave state.” With over 4,500 known wild or natural caves, it has more caves than any other state.  We even had a cave in my backyard when I was growing up. It had been a favorite spot to sit reading during the summer and enjoying the natural air conditioning. I’d also done regular cave tours as a child for girl scouts, … [ Read all ]