Iowa library restores Gulf Coast documents

March 2, 2006 at 5:44 PM
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IOWA CITY, Iowa, March 2 (UPI) -- Librarians at the University of Iowa are restoring documents from two Mississippi libraries that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The preservation department has already cleaned and returned letters from the Jefferson Davis Library in Biloxi and has also volunteered to deal with documents from the Biloxi Public Library.

Project CALM -- Conservation Attention for Libraries of Mississippi -- was suggested by Gary Frost, an Iowa conservator who visited the area in September as part of a group assessing the damage. Iowa officials say the project could be a model for other libraries that want to help their counterparts on the Gulf Coast.

"The social, economic and municipal recovery will require many years of national resolve and assistance," Frost said. "Cultural renewal depends in part on the survival of historical records."

Frost said that after the American Library Association annual conference in June in New Orleans he and Nancy Kraft, head of the preservation department, will travel to Biloxi to see what else needs to be done.

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