Libraries preserving history and manuscripts

nbruce writes “You may recall reading about the fire at Mt. Athos when a large number of religious artifacts were destroyed at an ancient monastery. The Hilander Research Library at Ohio State University Libraries notes the following on its web page:

March 4, 2004, a major fire broke out at Hilandar Monastery. While no lives were lost, fully half of the monastery complex burned. The katholikon, library, and museum/treasury were thankfully spared, but portions of the monastery, including chapels and other areas dating back to the 14th century, were severely damaged or destroyed. The buildings can be built again; the irreplaceable contents are lost forever.

We at the Hilandar Research Library are especially grateful that in the 1970s the monastery allowed us to make and preserve microfilm copies of its manuscript heritage. While no manuscripts were lost in this fire, the preservation copies we have and make accessible at The Ohio State University will continue to provide a permanent record of the intellectual content of this richest Serbian repository or medieval manuscripts.

More about the fire at Cronaca which includes comments that the Emporer Constantine declared in 1060 that the only females allowed on the peninsula are cats, to control the rat population."