Peru National Library – Priceless collection of Spanish colonial-era papers could be lost

Charles Davis sends us
this story from the Detroit News about Peru’s State Library’s preservation troubles:

These volumes are rarely brought out for display at Peru’s once-grand National Library, where the ravages of humidity, auto exhaust and decay are taking a heavy toll in one of the world’s most important repositories of papers from the Spanish colonial era.

Librarians are hampered with an inadequate arsenal — aging vacuum cleaners, a couple of household air purifiers, soft-bristle brushes. Gonzales, one of the library’s chief researchers, longs for specialized high-tech equipment and climate control systems to halt the collection’s deterioration.