Campus News

Pots and Plans

Story posted December 12, 2006

Yankee ingenuity and just plain going with what you know have yielded an innovative storage solution at the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.

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Lobster wire has new life holding old plans.

Lobster trap wire, usually relegated to the ocean's depths laden with bait, has reached lofty new heights of late, namely the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives on the library's third floor.

Archivists approached campus carpenter Mark Donovan about creating a shelving unit to hold large, rolled up architectural drawings, blueprints and maps. The challenge: make it airy — and not out of wood (out of concerns moisture absorption over time could create moldy conditions).

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Mark Donovan with his innovation.

Donovan, himself a former lobsterman, went into his personal archives and surfaced with plans of his own. He got large sheets of the sturdy metal mesh used to make traps, or "pots" as they're known among lobstermen, from a supplier in West Bath and, in no time, configured them into rows of orderly cubbies.

Says Donovan, "It's satisfying to give the College what it needs and do it in such a cool way."

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