The relocation of important cultural and historical libraries and archives is one of the most delicate services a moving company can play on behalf of institutions or privates. However, these activities require high organizational and logistical skills to carry out the collection, transport and repositioning of the documentary or library material, reconstructing the structures (or shelves), adapting them to the new target sites and the different consultation needs.
Thanks to the expertise provided by the company “F.lli Milano Traslochi“, Italia Van Lines partner located in Cuneo (Piedmont, Northwest Italy), the Network has the means and skills to coordinate the accessorial or complementary activities of the transfer of libraries and archives such as dusting bibliographic heritage at various levels of yield, disinfestations of volumes and documents, and disposal of archival material. We therefore considered it useful to involve the CEO Luciano Milano to provide to our readers with an insight into everything that is good to know about this type of moving service.
The company “F.lli Milano & C.” was born in Cuneo in 1950 as a transports company, specializing in the same year as a moving company, coming today to ensure the best quality standards in both sectors. Since 2003 the firm also works in Liguria region with his hub in Varazze (Savona). Along its sixty years of activity, the company from Cuneo has distinguished itself for its diversified services, such as home moving and office, archives and libraries relocations, sophisticated laboratory equipment moves and handling and transfer of delicate works of art, providing every vehicle, equipment, technology and resource specific to each situation, covering national and international routes through collaboration with overseas partners. Numerous services have been provided over the years for the civic libraries of several municipalities in central and northern Italy; libraries and archives of many universities in Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d’Aosta, Lombardy and Tuscany, libraries and archives of Italian, Swiss and French cultural associations, as well as many services for private customers and companies.
The company is composed only by professional specialists skilled through continuous and periodic business training courses. Based on this internal training mission, “F.lli Milano Traslochi” can count on a team with high expertise to better coordinate the transfer of “ordered materials”.
We asked Luciano Milano in what percentage customers are aware of the use of the right packaging material and, hygienic procedures necessary to protect the library’s assets. In this regard, the CEO explains that in the world of Libraries and Historical Archives, interlocutors are very often people who are graduated in Cultural Heritage Sciences and therefore have perfect knowledge of the materials suitable for conservation and of the methodologies to be used for movements and for other typical activities for Libraries and Archives. For “commercial” archives the referrals are often people who have been operating and managing the archives for many years, often without a specific study or title, and where the same document mapping / cataloging often follows personal and non-standardized criteria. In this last case the knowledge of methodologies and conservation materials is very limited.
The experience gained in more than thirty years in the relocation of Archives and Libraries has allowed Luciano Milano’s company to create specific operating procedures, information training and courses for staff, and specific equipment to make the best transfer with the aim of safeguarding the transferred library or archival patrimony.
Talking about packaging and storage materials, we see the use of “folding shirts” with different thicknesses or sizes, or individual boxes of acid free storage or barrier paper insertion, so that the retention of documents can be guaranteed for a very long time.
The methodologies of moving have always known a refinement of equipment and procedures by virtually eliminating almost rigid boxes and containers and adopting plastic materials using roll containers created with special sizes, removable and modular shelves. This system makes it easier to manage the initial alphanumeric order, which guarantees virtually 100% of the accuracy of the original order. With the same system, it is also possible to simplify and improve the reordering of the material that is broken at several stages in the starting phase, even at different locations, increasing the percentage of correctness of the reallocation to over 97% of the reset.
The properly packed roll container system to safeguard bindings, covers and backs also allows to solve the problem of library or document library crushing due to the overlapping of semirigid boxes or containers. A very perceived problem during the phases of handling rare historical volumes (manuscripts, parchment, incunabula, etc.).
One of the first services provided as an accessory to relocation – which places the Piedmontese company as a highly specialized in the field – has been the dusting of highly professional paper assets, executed with machines such as “Depilvera”, ideal for bookbills or “Aspirant plans”, ideal for archival patrimony. For good storage of paper it is important that it is not dusty, as inside the powder there are bacteria which can damage and even destroy the paper itself making it unusable and unreadable.
In the last decade, more specialized processes, such as the analysis of the molds, their treatment with mass methodologies as well as interventions on each single sheet or page of the book have been added to the accessorial services. Thanks to a group of external partners, restoration works are also provided by F.lli Milano Traslochi.
Since 2014, inside the Cuneo Headquarters it has been created a “dehumidification / drying cab” for library or documentary or material that for long periods of time stayed in poorly ventilated areas or have been attacked by floods and water leaks, absorbing a lot of moisture or even they getting are impregnated with water. With this machine, it is possible to return the material to acceptable humidity rates and then put it into a dusting process and where necessary restoring it. In the dehumidification cab it is possibile to work up to 80 mt. linear wet paper. This is a sort of unique selling core business, as in Italy there are only half a dozen of these machines.
The whole dehumidification cycle is monitored with cumulative sensors and / or single-piece sensors that detect and in some cases send to a dedicated PC all the humidity and temperature values during the processing period.
In carrying out or removing paper assets with historical value, some bureaucratic aspects and security measures must be taken into account to protect confidential records. In fact, it is necessary to obtain authorization from the Cultural Property and the Arts Department of the area of expertise before any operation or movement. The same Organization often requires that projects to be executed according to specific guidelines, methodologies and materials. If it is a “confidential” document, the company can comply to what customers are asking for by providing experience and equipment.
The vehicles used in the various stages of transport are all equipped with aluminum enclosures, insulated, with alarm systems both in the cabin and in the boxes, in addition to a real-time geolocation system throughout Europe with engine stop systems and the locks of the boxes doors. In extreme cases, armored vans of a partner company specialized in the transport of values are used. Reserved documents are often stored in different size crates with combination locks or safety keys.
Last but not least, all the staff employed in these specific activities plays a fundamental role, particularly in the transport of artworks of highest trust, being professionally prepared for the tasks to be carried out.
In many years of activity, “F.lli Milano Traslochi” has performed with the utmost satisfaction of customers multiple transfers of public and private libraries, historical archives and commercial archives, for which custom-made sewing projects were individually elaborated and performed professionally and punctually. Luciano Milano, reminded us that,with the aim of the expansion of the accessorial services of the moving of goods, in addition to the brand “Traslochi Biblioteche e Archivi F.lli Milano & C.”, it was created – with the collaboration of a partner company (Ingresso Libero di Torino) and a number of professional archivists and restorers – the new trade mark “COLLOCO“. Thanks to this new brand, it is also possible to offer services such as the provision of storage of materials, reorder and cataloging services, restoration and archive management for both customers and dedicated property owned businesses. The dehumidification cab is a direct consequence of the new COLLOCO brand, which we can call it a small, great professional success.
“F.lli Milano Traslochi” has always believed that professional union is the right way to grow and improve. In this regard, Luciano Milano emphasizes that being part of Italian Van Lines is a cause of pride and professional and human growth thanks to the presence of other highly qualified and professional companies that are no longer perceived as competitors but as allies. In a teamwork and in this historical / commercial ambiance where the entrepreneur feels more and more often alone and abandoned, counting and meeting with many other entrepreneurs belonging to the same field is already a great achievement. Adding to this, however, the importance of being able to complete it thanks to the experiences of IVL members can only be the right way for a 360° economic growth. In this regard, the manager of the Piedmontese company hopes to be able to convey the positive experiences of many years of activity to the entire Network, treasuring the past and creating everlasting and professional relationships for a steady growth in IVL.