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Government agencies have used the entire spectrum of Document Reprocessors’ services to successfully recover and restore their water and fire-damaged documents. Since 1979, we have gained considerable experience in processing large numbers of records damaged by fires and floods, recovering documents for agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of the Navy, the Province of Alberta, the US Navy Weapons Center at China Lake, the US Supreme Court in Maine, the New Jersey Supreme Court, and the Contra Costa County Courthouse to name a few.
One of these jobs illustrates two important points for managers of government agencies: First, how Document Reprocessors helped an agency to continue to meet their legal responsibilities while their records were being recovered; and second, that we have experience in dealing with confidential legal material.
In 1996, we completed a challenging project for the Contra Costa County Courthouse records depository in California, which experienced the largest fire/water disaster of its type in this century. About 10% of these legal court records were wet, and the rest sustained varying degrees of fire damage. The recovery phase began by drying the wet records at our vacuum freeze-drying facility, and cleaning and organizing the damaged records at the on-site location.
We then moved all damaged records to a location near the courthouse where they were organized into an “off-site operational courthouse records center,” prior to the actual restoration phase of the project. Records were reshelved in file order, inventoried, and input into our “Dial-a File” retrieval system. The most active case records were processed first and made available to the court on only four hours’ notice.
Restoration consisted of making surrogate copies of fire-damaged records that became the “true and correct copies,” followed by careful destruction of the confidential damaged records. The entire job took us about one year, and during this time, the court system was using the legal records daily that they needed to continue their work.
As a result of more than two decades of extensive experience in recovering millions of books and documents, Document Reprocessors has developed considerable expertise in the safe handling of wet paper materials and in the use of the vacuum freeze-drying technology to produce a properly dried book or document. The vacuum freeze-drying process yields results that are far superior to air drying and has a success rate approaching 99%. In order to accomplish vacuum freeze-drying for many items at once in a reliable and reproducible manner, we have assembled the most advanced technical equipment in the field. In addition to vacuum freeze-drying of paper-based materials, we offer air and vacuum drying of other material formats and several computer-assisted records management and inventory programs.
A full list of services is available. Our goals are to greatly facilitate the timely recovery and rehabilitation of your water and fire-damaged records or archives, and to get your materials back on the shelves as fast as possible, in good condition, correctly filed, and at a fair and competitive cost.