[rescue] In Realtime: Saving 25, 000 Manuals ??? August 15, 2015

Rich Kulawiec rsk at gsp.org
Thu Aug 20 18:57:57 CDT 2015

On Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 05:00:06PM -0600, Bob Darlington wrote:
> Did they toss duplicate tek manuals?  I have 5 different Tek 7854 manuals
> with the different revisions.  The last manual is the important one but
> they all look identical from the front.

We tried very hard NOT to do that.  For example, some of the Tektronix
manuals came in two obviously-different versions: one with a blue cover,
spiral bound, and another in a binder with a color title page.  In those
cases, I saved both.  As another example, some of the Tektronix manuals
came in a second version with a subtitle reading something like
"Serial Number 12345 and up".  Again, I saved both.  As a third example,
some came with a model number 456 and 456A: saved both of those, too.
And finally, as a fourth example, some manuals had part numbers like
11-2222-01, 11-2222-02, 11-2222-03, etc.; saved one of each of those.

However, I'm certain that I made mistakes and that others did too.  As I
said, we were under considerable time pressure and there just wasn't the
opportunity to make a detailed examination of everything.  I estimate that
I left 75% of what I touched on the shelves as duplicates.  And there's no
way that I went through 300 feet of shelves error-free; so somewhere in
all that I undoubtedly saved duplicates while leaving other unique ones

If we'd had a month, and if we'd have ten times as many people, we
probably could have gotten closer and we probably could have cataloged
what we saved.  But given the enormity of the task and the very short
timeframe, I think we managed a good first approximation.  I hope
that the future will forgive our errors.  I also hope that this isn't
the last crack we'll have at saving a hoard of manuals: perhaps if
this process is repeated a few more times, that will suffice as
an error-correction mechanism.


More information about the rescue mailing list