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Mold hits U. of I. Rare Book Library

More Yuck: The gem of the University of Illinois' world-renowned library -- its Rare Book & Manuscript Library -- is infested with mold and will be closed down for several months. About 15,000 books in the collection have mold, library officials said. But the number could be higher, because that includes only what's visible.

Several ways used to secure VA archives

Take A Look at archives security. Public access to archives is limited at prominent Virginia repositories such as the state library, the Virginia Historical Society, the Museum of the Confederacy, the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia and the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary.

"If you talked to every state archivist, they recognize that the greatest threat of theft is from the inside. The potential of that was experienced in New York."

Rare Maps Given to UVA Libraries

A significant collection of rare and historic maps has been pledged to the University of Virginia Library and will be featured in a free exhibition opening this month at the U.Va. Library.
Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz, who holds the position of Distinguished Alumni Professor in the University of Rochester’s department of surgery, is also a renowned cartographic historian. His collection of more than 200 rare maps is considered among the finest in the world.
Included are one of the oldest maps to show the western hemisphere (1508), the first map to show Florida (Hernando Cortés’s 1524 map of Mexico City), and an 18th century map of the Ohio River Valley drawn by then-unknown surveyor George Washington.
The collection documents 300 years of attempts to “put America on a map.” The maps capture American history, from the first European awareness of the continent’s existence to the geographic rendering that is familiar today.

See: This Release.

Archivist: I Stole Papers to Pay Bills

A state archivist was charged Monday with stealing hundreds of artifacts — documents representing "the heritage of all Americans," according to the history buff who found some of them on eBay — to pay his household bills.

Daniel Lorello, 54, is accused of taking the rare items from the New York State Library, including Davy Crockett Almanacs, Currier and Ives lithographs and the 1865 railroad timetable for Abraham Lincoln's funeral train. Authorities believe he hawked them for tens of thousands of dollars, using much of that to pay off his daughter's credit card debt.

"This crime is especially repugnant, because it's dealing with historic documents," state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said. "It's literally stealing the legacy of the state of New York page by page."

Full story here.

Attics, closets yield black history 'treasures'

Smithsonian and library experts assessed the historical — not monetary, to the chagrin of some — value of a tattered family bible, comic books, a handmade quilt, a pin marking the death of cosmetics entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, the nation’s first African-American millionaire, and dozens of other artifacts. The highlight, Bunch said, was the discovery of an exceedingly rare white Pullman port-American sleeping car porters on first-class runs. “I take pleasure in every object I see, but rarely do I say ‘Oh my God’,” Bunch said. “And that was an ‘Oh my God’ moment.”It will join the museum’s permanent collection in Washington.

A Declaration falls through the cracks

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to locate a rare, vintage copy of the nation's founding document, try looking behind the filing cabinet.

That was a lesson learned the hard way at the Supreme Court, where a 185-year-old facsimile of the Declaration of Independence gathered dust for seven years, tucked behind the office furniture, a court spokeswoman acknowledged this week.

Treasures tucked away in archives at OSU

The Columbus Dispatch peeks inside the archives @ OSU. The OSU Archives, 2700 Kenny Rd., holds a quirky combination of memorabilia, records and documents. Some people mistakenly consider the archives to be the font of all OSU knowledge. "We get all kinds of bizarre questions," said university archivist Raimund Goerler. Some they can even answer.

Raffaele Farina is Now a Cardinal

Raffaele Farina, Vatican Archivist and Librarian, is now a Cardinal.

Microsoft and the Library of Congress

Microsoft will provide technology to the Library of Congress to take a
virtual tour of the library. One of the reasons cited is so that visitor s can plan where they are going, but they may also be able to interact with documents. Very cool stuff.

New Blog: Voice of America African Music Treasures

Enjoy African music? Now you can listen to it on a VOA blog. The Voice of America has launched African Music Treasures, its first blog designed especially for African music fans around the world.

Matthew Lavoie, host of VOA's popular Music Time in Africa music show, will moderate the blog featuring music from VOA's extensive and rare African music collection, music commentary, audio clips, bios of interesting musicians, and chats with online participants.

"Our archive is overflowing with rare music from every country in Africa," said Lavoie. "I'm excited to share it with my fellow enthusiasts," he added.

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