Miyagi Network News vol.138

~The voluntary activity in the secretariat office has begun~

1.The Report about the voluntary activity in Secretariat Office

This is Daisuke Sato, as a secretariat officer of the Miyagi Network for Preserving Historical Materials. Nearly 4 months passed since the East Japan Earthquake, and we are receiving consultations and enquiries about the preservation of historical materials almost every day. We are trying to respond to all of them as quickly as we possibly can, as a result, we could rescue and preserve these materials damaged by the quake and the Tsunami.

Accompanying that, the number of damaged historical documents waterlogged by the Tsunami are dramatically increasing in the secretariat office day by day, so it become a main issue to secure the manpower who can carry out the urgent measures. For this reason, as from the latter part of June, we have been advertising for voluntary workers for the operation in the secretariat office on weekdays, and asking them to cooperate with the rescue activities.

At present, 2-3 volunteers per day are participating in our operation. Among the members of the society, some of them are staying for the long-term at their own expense, and some join us for a day from distant places making use of their days off. Taking this opportunity, we appreciate them to devotedly carry out the rescue operation and sharing their precious time.

At the same time, we received an offer of assistance from the Yamagata Relief Network for Cultural Heritage. So as to advance our operation effectively and speedily, we asked them to carry out the urgent measures in Yamagata for two groups of the historical archives. We’d like to express our gratitude to the Yamagata Network’s cooperation.

On the other hand, each university in Sendai area is also participating in our operation by dispatching their students from each seminar group, as a part of the practice for learning about historical documents. Through this activity, students are learning to carry out the urgent measures for the old archives damaged by the Tsunami by cleaning and spraying ethanol for sterilization. We consider that it will be a good opportunity for them to shoulder the burden of
society in order to understand the practical field of preservation of the historical and cultural heritage damaged by the natural disaster.

(Our activity in the secretariat office was broadcasted by the Nikkei web-news.)

2.Guidelines for the voluntary workers in August

(Translator’s note: Please read the below part as an introduction to their activity)

The contents of the operation will be to carry out the urgent measures for the historical documents waterlogged by the Tsunami and to separate the Fusuma(*) into the undercoated documents and the frames. In addition, depending on the case, we will sometimes visit the devastated area and carry out the rescue operation in the field. If you will have any difficulties getting to the field, please feel free to tell us.

The prescribed number is 5 members per day. In the case that the prospective participants reach that number we apologise that we may not be able to meet your requirements.

As for the August activity, we have already received many applications before the advertisement for volunteers. We really thank you all. We appreciate your continuous support and cooperation.

NB: Our summer vacation will be from 10th to 18th of August.

*Fusuma(襖): sliding door made from paper and wood, used to partition off rooms in a apanese house. Sometimes they have beautiful traditional pictures, or old historical documents on the underside to strengthen against being torn part.

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About Nerwork for Historical Materials
A volunteer group for preserving Cultural Heritage suffered from natural disasters

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