Uncovering the Chicksands collection is a huge task - some 1240 mover's boxes holding an estimated 45,000-55,000 books, manuscripts and manuals on military history, strategy, tactics and people: published between 1750 and 1970. It contains English, French, Italian, Russian and German language publications, that we know so far. By our calculations it would take one person working non-stop -- 24/7 -- for six years just to unpack, list and enter the information on the collection into the University of Calgary's library catalogue.
Chicksands is an undiscovered country. No-one has any idea yet on what the entire contents of this collection are, so we reckon that somewhere in all of this there should be something of interest popping up now and again. Our team plans to comment on the progress and the interesting finds along the way - for us it's like Christmas every day unpacking these items.
We do know that with the age, fragility and rarity of these items, it is going to take a while, and a fair chunk of money, to get books from the box to the shelf. Some items, particularly the foreign language publications, take extra time and effort to process. However, we hope by the early summer that the large proportion of the English language materials unique to the University of Calgary's collections will be identified and catalogued. When finished, they will housed in at our library and archives at The Military Museums.
Your thoughts and your interests are more than welcome as we go along over the next 5 months or so to reach our initial, English language materials target. We certainly need to hear if a specific item or subject is of interest to our researchers.
In short, we're not sure exactly where Chicksands will take us, but we hope you come along for the ride.