Monthly Archives: October 2015

What to do in a Zombie Attack**

Your disaster plan includes instructions on how to deal with different disasters, such as fires, floods, and theft, among others. Few disaster plans cover what should be done in the event of a zombie attack. Zombies are undead creatures that eat human flesh. The virus is passed on through a bite or scratch from an infected individual. The Lead Team believes it is important to prepare for all types of disasters, so here are a few tips on handling a zombie attack:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Call your local authorities, if time permits. Note that if this is a wide spread epidemic, the authorities may not respond to your call.
  3. Barricade all staff and visitors in a secure space, such as your vault.
  4. Ensure all staff and visitors in the secure space have not been infected.
  5. Remain quiet.
  6. Do not use archival records or artefacts to defend yourself against zombies, if possible.
  7. Consider keeping blunt instruments in your disaster kit to protect your staff and visitors from a zombie attack.
  8. Include self-defence training as part of your institutional disaster training.
Photo credit: Stephen Dann

Photo credit: Stephen Dann

Disaster preparedness is key to protecting staff, researchers and our collections from these types of attacks!

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**This post is all in good fun. Happy Halloween!

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Good Work by the Flood Advisory Programme’s Lead Team

South Peace Regional Archives gratefully acknowledges the benefit received from the ASA Flood Advisory Programme, through Lead Archivist Amanda Oliver and Lead Conservator Emily Turgeon-Brunet.

SPRA is located in the Grande Prairie Museum, which sits on the banks of Bear Creek, a potential flood plain. Although the creek has never overflowed in our time, we have suffered a flood from above, caused by our flat roof.

We knew that our Disaster Preparedness Plan needed to be revised and more supplies purchased. We had a Disaster Response Kit of sorts, but it was basically a list of all the materials we would need in case of an emergency, and where they were stored.

Amanda and Emily’s report through the Flood Advisory Programme makes it so easy to address our weaknesses.  They laid out an easy to follow plan and gave us the conservation materials needed to do it correctly. This included a bin containing the things we were missing, such as sock barriers, Hollytex sheets, protective coveralls, and hard hats. It is very comforting to have all the supplies in one bin, which is now stored in our isolation room right off the receiving bay. Archives staff were also very excited about winning the fume hood used for the Flood Advisory Programme! Until now, when we needed to use toxic chemicals to clean film or when we wanted to remove mould from paper records, we have had to wait for a quiet, warm day in summer so we can work on them in the ventilated outdoors. This fume hood will allow us to work safely with cleaners and mouldy records as required. For the moment, it resides on a back table in the Archives Processing Room, but we are looking forward to the day when it is up and running.

Thank You, Archives Society of Alberta, for your practical support of archives across Alberta.

Sincere Regards,

Mary Nutting, Executive Director

South Peace Regional Archives

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And the Oscar Goes to… (Behind the Scenes of our How-to Videos)

When the Lead Team was researching types of resources to share on our website, we realized fairly quickly a lack of video resources about disaster recovery available online. Although there are some great videos out there, the videos were hard to find and the videos themselves were quite long. The available video resources were not appropriate if an archivist needed salvage information quickly. We decided it would be beneficial to create how-to videos for the ASA website that were concise and easy to find.

Emily Turgeon-Brunet preparing to film a video about mould removal.

Emily Turgeon-Brunet preparing to film a video about mould removal.

Throughout the fall of 2014, the Lead Team decided on six topics for the videos and wrote scripts for these topics. We filmed three of the videos ourselves during the winter of 2015. Although the content of the videos was strong, we felt the poor production value distracted from the content. In the spring of 2015, the Lead Team interviewed four local video production companies and hired Back Road Productions ( to help us create our videos. Dylan Howard worked closely with us to ensure that our content was presented in an interesting and visually appealing way. He was very patient with us and his attention to detail was much appreciated.

Amanda Oliver preparing to film the video about packing wet records.

Amanda Oliver preparing to film the video about packing wet records.

We had some difficulty securing an appropriate filming location for the required time period. Fortunately, the Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum ( was able to accommodate us. The archives and museum is located within the oldest standing brick school in Alberta, which was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 1976. It is a beautiful building and was a stunning and appropriate backdrop for our videos. Thank you to the Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum staff for your time, space and patience!

We spent a lot of time selecting and placing props in the background of our videos, especially deciding on what to write on the chalkboard. Do you know what the chemical equation on the chalkboard is for? Let us know in the comments!


Emily Turgeon-Brunet filming a close up shot.

We filmed the videos over three days in June 2015. Topics included: handling wet records, packing wet records, drying wet records, flattening and humidifying, mould removal and encapsulation. The filming process was quite long and stressful; however, the team at Back Road Productions was very patient and made us feel comfortable throughout the filming process. They did an excellent job transforming the footage into the videos available on our website!

Amanda Oliver wrapping bound material in wax paper for the packing wet records video.

Amanda Oliver wrapping bound material in wax paper for the packing wet records video.

The videos are available on our website: Let us know what you think of the videos in the comments! Please be kind to us while viewing the videos – remember that we are not actors, but an archivist and a conservator! We were definitely out of our element being on camera; however, we hope the finished product will benefit the greater documentary heritage community.

Thank you again to Back Road Productions and the Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museums for helping us create these resources.

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Introducing our New Video Resources!

For Archives Week 2015, the Lead Team has created six video resources for the Flood Advisory Programme’s webpage. These videos are intended to be concise resources which demonstrate basic salvage techniques to help archivists during an emergency.

Handling Wet Paper

Watch this video to learn how to handle wet paper without tearing it.

Packing Wet Records

Watch this video to learn how to pack wet records.

Drying Wet Records

Watch this video to learn a variety of ways to dry wet paper.

Humidifying and Flattening Paper Records  

Watch this video to learn two techniques to humidify and flatten records.

Mould Removal

Watch this video to learn how to safely remove mould.


Watch this video to learn how to encapsulate records using Mylar.

The videos were filmed on location at the Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum. Funding for the videos was provided by Alberta Culture and Tourism. We hope you find these resources helpful. Happy Archives Week!

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