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Tag: Lenexa

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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