Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Saturday, August 2


This is the building where the archives are situated. The large rounded part is a convention/events type center, Lotto Mons Expo. The square part at the lower left is the archive part of the building.

The archives is located on the ground floor of the square building.

This is the entrance to the archives. Toon and Elly's apartment is at the rear where you can see a car parked. They also have a police car that is parked in front of their apartment at all times. We think it is to discourage anybody from trying to break into the building.

Here is our parking lot - very private and secure. It is such a blessing to have a real place to park our car each day. It also is very pleasant with the trees and shade.

Ready for a new day at the archives. This is the front entrance. JoAnn is posing for a phantom paparazzi who appears in the window to the right.

Sign just inside the foyer when you first enter the archives.

This is the outside of our office. The window is frosted so you can't see in, but still plenty of light comes in. The design on the window is from the architect's drawings for the building. They are the same on all of the offices.
"Archie" was given to us by Toon and Elly to help brighten up our office. We are hoping for his good health, as we are sometimes cursed with a "brown thumb." So far, though, he seems to be doing well.

These are some of the documents we are working with. ("Ending a sentence with a preposition is a pack of nonsense up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill) We are doing the marriage records from Charleroi from 1881 to 1900. Each marriage has a little covering of some kind to keep all of one set of documents together. They include birth records, military records, parents death records, etc. for each couple married.
We go through the records, make sure they are in the right order and that none are missing, straighten out crinkled records, and then we put a white acid-free chemise (large piece of paper folded in half), which we have assigned a number, around each year's worth of documents for each town.

We then put them into large cardboard boxes and indicate which number of chemises are in each box. We also keep a list on the computer of what is where.
The records are sometimes very brittle and pieces break off easily.

This is just one day's worth of debris from the records we are working on. Mostly the records are in very good condition and these little pieces do not effect the quality of the records. It is so important though for these records to be microfilmed so that they may be preserved, as it will only be a matter of time before all the documents fall into these little pieces.

When we have done a section, we load them onto a trolley and roll them down a long hallway to
the file room. The file room is very ingenious. They have what you could call a moving aisle way.
There is basically one aisle and the rows of shelves move by turning the hand cranks, thusmoving one row of shelves at a time until they butt up against the next row of shelves, etc., etc., each time leaving one aisle space, until you get to the row of shelves that you need.
We then unload the cart onto the shelves.
Arnold uploading to the top shelves.
JoAnn downloading from the middle shelves.
Back to our office to begin all over again. They are very protective of their records and we have to unlock every door we go through and then lock it again afterwards.
The archives are very clean and basically bug-free, but Arnold had to take this picture to show "archive road kill" on our way to and from the file room. Luckily, this is the only one we have seen and he had already gone to spider heaven before we came across him.

The archives are a very interesting place to work. They have a large "salle" where patrons come and look up records on microfilm or the original documents. We have had some fun conversations with some of the patrons. They are so interested in what we are doing and all seem to know FamilySearch and the Mormons because of their interest in genealogy. After seeing us working there, some of them have even volunteered to help out at the archives. We are having so much fun, who could resist wanting to join us.


Blogger Karen said...

The road kill makes me laugh. It was fun to see what you are doing.

3:02 PM  

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