Air Quality test in NARA’s St. Louis labs.

Previously, we posted on Air Quality tests being performed in the St. Louis Preservation Lab, where records damaged in the 1973 fire are treated. The results gave us some good news, but also confirmed our expectations that we brought with us significant mold and debris into our newly built facility when the burned records were moved.

Some air samples did show higher than normal levels of Chaetomium and Pencillium/Aspergillus mold spores, as well as other Hyphal Elements (thread-like elements in the vegetative part of a fungus).  The samples showed higher concentrations in the afternoon within our Decontamination Lab as records were worked on through the day. On the positive side, we found that our Wet Lab, where documents are brought for further treatment after they have been surface cleaned, had no detectable mold spores or particulate materials! We also found no asbestos in our samples.

One interesting analysis of a special sample gave us confirmation that the small, black raised dots we have found on some documents is, in fact, mold-related. The presence of numerous aceomycete hyphae and moderate ascomydete parithecia were found, indicating the presence of various immature mold structures, but no fully-developed mold spores. These poppy seed-like deposits in paper are difficult to remove, and many are so well embedded that they remain even after treatment (as seen in photograph). These immature mold structures and the Hyphal Elements also indicate something else to us—the massive salvage steps taken after the fire stopped the further growth of mold and saved hundreds of thousands of documents from loss by further biological growth. Even with that success, we continue to work with significant amounts of mold. Watch for a later post on how we protect staff working with mold.

Meet IBM’s “Boy And His Atom,” Stars of the Smallest Movie Ever Made

[Image Credit via ScienceAlert via D: All Things Digital]

The image above shows two animated characters in what’s been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest movie ever made. It’s called “A Boy And His Atom,” and the medium of animation is, you guessed it, atoms.

It lasts all of 60 seconds, and depicts a boy — made up of individual atoms himself — encountering a single atom that he befriends and throws like a ball. He then bounces up and down on a tiny trampoline made up of atoms, then throws the original atom into the sky, where it erupts into a tiny commercial for the company that produced it: IBM.

What’s going on here is this: Scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Lab in San Jose, Calif., have figured out a way to precisely move and manipulate individual atoms. To do it they’re using a big piece of equipment called a scanning tunneling microscope that weighs two tons and operates at a temperature of minus 268 degrees Celsius (or 450.5 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale, according to the Unit Convert widget on my Mac). In the world of physics and nanotechnology, this thing is a big deal and led the two IBM inventors to share the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1986.

So why is IBM using atoms to make crude animations? As has long been the case, everything inside computers is getting smaller all the time. According to Moore’s Law — named for Intel co-founder Gordon Moore — individual transistors on chips tend to shrink every 18 to 24 months. So does the amount of space needed to store individual bits of data. Right now, IBM says, it takes about a million atoms to do that, but it can see a trajectory leading to a point in the future to where that number can be reduced to 12 atoms. At that scale, the media to store information will be so compact that every movie ever made, including “A Boy And His Atom,” could be stored on a device the size of your iPhone. That means the ability to move and manipulate individual atoms with great precision will eventually come in handy.

And here [below] is the obligatory “Making Of…” video that explains how and why the movie was made, including an interesting detail: What moving individual atoms sounds like.”

Read more here.


The Storm has arrived. Check out our very first release with LAB Records. We’ve been working so long and so hard on this, it would mean the world to me if you checked it out! <3 

Don’t forget to order on itunes - Help us get into the rock itunes chart!! -> 


PREMIERE - Bethan Leadley premieres the first track from her EP ‘New Kinda New’ via this fun lyric video featuring some of YouTube’s biggest names! Check it out above.

Pre-order ‘New Kinda New’ in a variety of bundles right here!


Preservation of Frank Capra’s movie, “The Negro Soldier”.  A look at the preservation process from beginning to end.


Ever wonder what the Preservation Programs at St. Louis does?…Watch this!!!


Catfish and the Bottlemen perform their song ‘Cocoon’ during their recent RadioBDC Live in the Lab session


Anavae have released a tour diary music video for their incredible new single, 'The Wanderer’.

'The Wanderer' is the second single to be released from the group's new EP, Dimensions, which is out now via LAB Records.


Its a little late but here is it guys. My brand new music video for ‘She Will Stay Beneath The Moon’. It was a pleasure to make and be part of, a big thank you goes out to Daniel Broadley & his team + Lab Records for getting it out!


Jacob & Goliath have released a music video for their new single ‘Green’. Their EP Eyes Conveyed is available on iTunes now.