Thursday, December 30, 2010

Water magnets

I GOT A LOOK at the damage in the College Archives from the flood of Dec. 20, and all I can say is, it sure could have been worse. Almost miraculously, our complete run of Harper's Magazine through the Civil War (1861-65) seems to be okay. And, Deo gratias, our most valuable Bibles are safely out of harm's way on exhibit at Santa Clara University.

Still, it's a mess. Here's a photo of a less valuable 19th Century Bible that looks to be a total loss. It's moldy and not worth the expense of restoration. There are several other books in similar condition and facing a similar fate.

Some of the archival records awaiting processing got soaked and are still in their cardboard boxes. I'm hoping they're not moldy as well. Yecch -- won't that be fun! What a way to start the New Year. Well, happy 2011 anyway. Truth be told, many of our rare books show signs of water damage from centuries ago. You can't fight physics.

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