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Flood-Damaged Phonograph Records Sent Home

Friday, December 18, 2009

A much awaited event finally arrived. We returned close to 1,500 sound recordings to David Muhlena, Library Director for the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids. Cleaning the records was very labor intensive. We began our work in July 2008, working in the Paper Lab cleaning off the worst of the mud, mold, bacteria, and river debris. In September 2008, we brought the records to the conservation lab for a more thorough cleaning. We’re estimating that actual hands-on cleaning time was around 750 hours. We’re not done yet. We only returned the LPs and 45s, we still have the 78s to clean.

We could not have competed this project without the donation of archival tan board for the three flap enclosures by Archival Products, Des Moines, Iowa and funding for new sink/water system from the State Historical Society of Iowa Historical Resources Development Program (HRDP).

The local media has been very supportive in covering our flood “mile markers.” It’s always good to get the message out that many flood/water damaged items can be salvaged and to remind the public that recovery from a disaster such as the Iowa Flood of 2008 takes time.

UI Libraries restoring thousands of flood-damaged relics