May 19, 2022

Community Involvement: University of Iowa Libraries Restoring Thousands of Flood-Damaged Relics

From The Gazette (Cedar Rapids):

Employees with the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids expected to get up to a couple feet of water during the flood of 2008.

They got eight.

So even though they evacuated hundreds of valuables and moved any remaining books, phonograph records, posters and maps about three feet off the ground, the damage was immense. Losses totaled more than $11 million.

But even before floodwaters receded to reveal the level of destruction, preservation and conservation experts with the University of Iowa Libraries were providing help in the form of advice.


But over the past seven years the UI Conservation Lab has managed to treat more than 8,000 items, 100 boxes of manuscripts and 11,000 single sheets of paper affected by the flood at a reduced cost thanks, in part, to the help of students and volunteers.

“If they went to a traditional conservation lab, it would have cost double,” she said, adding that a traditional lab also would have taken longer because it would have had to squeeze the Cedar Rapids project in among its other work.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1080 Words)


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.