English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-x.html)

„Ten times worse than in Weimar“, Michael Knoche, director of Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, caught the speaker’s eye. (sueddeutsche.de March 19, 2009 via Archivalia)

…the state of the material is totally mixed. Some documents were covered and protected by the rubble others were destroyed by it.
Up to now, it is uncertain how much of the inventory can be rescued: Some experts assume 20%, optimists suspect 50%. The recurrence of both valuable Albertus Magnus handwritings gives hope. In any case, a majority of single pieces will be rescued rather than inventoried material groups. Scientific research will be made difficult thereby.
The general mindlessness dealing with our written cultural possessions must come to an end. The Elbe flood water in Dresden 2002, the fire in the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library 2004 and the Cologne Historical Archive building’s collapse 2009, obviously pandered by negligence, are three warning symbol (Menetekel); the Biblical king Belsazar only needed one to understand the warning.


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