January 26, 2022

Collection Cleaned: Boston Public Library Reopens Rare Department After Mold Outbreak

From The Boston Globe:

It took a crew of 20 roughly 7½ hours a day over 10 weeks, but the mold is gone.

The Boston Public Library’s Rare Books Department reopened Tuesday after an intense cleaning to eradicate fuzzy white spores that speckled a medieval manuscript and other irreplaceable artifacts.

The mold was discovered on a reference book by a staff member in September. The collection includes 500,000 books and 1 million manuscripts, none of which sustained significant damage.

“Every book in the collection was cleaned,” said Laura Irmscher, the library’s chief of collections strategy. “It was comprehensive.”


The cleaning has already cost roughly $325,000, Irmscher said, and the library still plans to install new carpet. Officials also replaced upholstered seats with wooden chairs.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Report: “Boston Public Library Assessing Rare Book Section After Mold Outbreak” (September 19, 2015)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.