Moving Day

More like Moving Month, really. It took most of June, 1949 to get all of our books into the new Fondren Library, which had it’s official opening that fall. There were books stashed all over campus: on upper floors and in the basement of Lovett, in the Physics Building, in Chemistry and in the Fieldhouse (that I know about). This was just one day in that long process.

Moving day 3Moving day 6Moving day 2Moving day 7

Moving day 4

Great shot of the back of the library!!

Fun fact: All the books were fumigated before they were put on the shelves.

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5 Responses to Moving Day

    • Mark Williamson says:

      I was under the impression that it was cyanide gas. Something that would kill mold as well as insects, anyway.

      I can tell you with more certainty where it was done, though. I visited the “gas chamber” fumigation facility almost twenty years later. It included a chamber with racks for the books and an antechamber with a place to mount the gas canister for release into the main chamber. I think there was also a switch for an exhaust fan to remove the gas after it had done its work. (Looking back, I wonder whether it just vented to the roof. Would that have been legal in the late 1960s?)

      The facility was in the basement, against what was then the back wall. (We were installing the library’s first computer, a 1401 moved from Bonner Lab, just down the hall. To tie back to another previous conversation, it was on real raised flooring that I helped assemble. It did not serve as a plenum, though; it was open on one side and served just for cable space.)

  1. Pingback: Not “a mere bookworm’s dream world,” 1949 | Rice History Corner

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