Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vault Vednesday: Iron Versus Granite

2010 NGS Family History ConferenceIn today’s edition of Vault Vednesday I’ll talk about your last chance to pre-register for the NGS Family History Conference and I’ll talk about the Iron Mountain record vault.

Pre-registration Deadline

With pre-registration ending Monday, this is the last Wednesday you have to pre-register. Best be doing it today so you don’t forget. Although if you enjoy procrastination and standing in line, you can always register at the show.

Let’s review what you have going for you when you come to NGS 2010 in Salt Lake City:

Date Reasons to Come to NGS Conference
2010-01-06 GMRV virtual tour and Jay Verkler Keynote
2010-01-13 Exhibit halls (Including New GenTech Hall)
2010-01-20 Breadth of Classes Offered
2010-01-27 An Evening Celebration of Family History
2010-02-03 LDS Church History Library Open House
2010-02-10 FamilySearch Open House
2010-02-17 Ask an Expert
2010-02-24 Wednesday Class picks
2010-03-10 Thursday Class Picks
2010-03-24 Multiple Conferences, Workshops
2010-03-31 Luncheons/Dinners


Pre-registration must be postmarked by 12 April 2010. There are just 5 days left.
The conference begins 28 April 2010. There are just 21 days left.

Iron Mountain versus Granite Mountain

Corbis archive in Iron Mountain Utahns and perhaps some genealogists may be surprised to learn that the Granite Mountain Record Vault (GMRV) is not the only record vault in the world and probably not the most famous, either. I’ve already mentioned the GMRV’s little-known neighbor, Perpetual Storage. Insider reader, John Gasson, mentioned a record vault in England: The DeepStore vault in the Winsford Rock Salt Mine. (Private message to John: I’m honored. No apology necessary!)

One candidate for most famous is for a “record” of a different type: an archive of the world’s plant life. It is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

I was surprised to learn that the fictional rooms inside Mount Rushmore are not just fiction. The Hall of Records contains near permanent copies of the texts of the foundational documents of the United States of America, sealed with a granite capstone.

My guess for the most famous record vault, at least in the United States, would be the Iron Mountain storage facility used by various branches of the US government, security agencies, and leading companies, including Bill Gates’ Corbis photo archive.

Genealogists might readily defend the reputation of the Granite Mountain Record Vault by pointing out that the Iron Mountain vault is not excavated from a mountain of iron, but of limestone. And it is not in a mountain, at least by Western standards. And “Iron Mountain” is not even the name of the vault; it is the name of the corporation that owns the vault.

Nevertheless, this archival storage facility, located 220 feet underground, is a veritable underground city. It is two miles by three miles in size, and has its own water treatment plant and fire station. It contains over 100 individual storage vaults. Nearly 3,000 people work full-time in this 145-acre complex.

The vault, near Boyers in Butler County, Pennsylvania, was previously owned by National Underground Storage. Before that it was US Steel’s Annandale limestone mine. To learn more about the Iron Mountain storage facility, try these links:

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