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Post-Katrina Document Recovery: Time Ticking Away

Update: An ALA Councilor who works at the Library of Congress says “We’re … aware and working on it.” I’m interested to see what transpires–and I know everyone’s busy, but communication back to LibraryLand is useful too. (We do read newspapers…)


We all know right now the focus in Louisiana needs to be on human assistance and recovery. But down the road, the time spent or not spent recovering precious documents will matter to our national cultural legacy. Is it possible ALA and/or LLA could step in to ease the way for document recovery?

We librarians know time is of the essence, particularly with older documents.

“Specialists working for the New Orleans Notorial Archives have been stymied in trying to return downtown to rescue some of the most historic documents in the cityTs history, from original land grants to slave sale records and title records.

“Federal troops have refused to let them through checkpoints into the city.

“The Notorial Archives hired Munters Corp., a Swedish document salvage firm that freezes and then freeze-dries records to slowly remove moisture from them. But MuntersT refrigerated trucks were turned away by uniformed troops as they tried to enter the city, said Stephen Bruno, custodian of the archives.”

Thanks to NOPL staffer Tony Barnes for bringing this to my attention.

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