When the Dam Breaks:
Salvaging Water-Damaged Books

Annotated Bibliography

Buchanan, Sally. "The Stanford Library Flood Restoration Project." College and Research Libraries 40.6 (1979): 539-48.
A detailed explanation of the decisions made surrounding the drying and restoration of 50,000 books at the Stanford library.

"Disaster Response: Handling wet materials." Library Preservation and Conservation Tutorial. Council on Library and Information Resources and Cornell University Library. 08 Aug. 2005.
This is an online tutorial that provides succinct suggestions for disaster management, security, and preservation. Although it is aimed at Southeast Asia, most of the ideas and suggestions would be applicable anywhere.

Flagg, Gordon. "N. Dak. State University fights to salvage flooded materials." American Libraries 31.7 (2000): 1000.
A brief article outlining the details of a flood in the North Dakota State University library, in which 50,000 volumes were wet with contaminated waters.

George, Susan C, and Cheryl Terrass Naslund. "Library disasters: a learning experience." College and Research Libraries News Apr. 1986: 251-257.
The Physical Sciences Library at Dartmouth College suffered 8 small-to-medium floods during the summer of 1983. This article describes the attempts to minimize damage to the collection from repeated leaks, as well as how wet materials were treated.

Lunde, Diane B. "What do you do with 426,500 wet books? or, Options for restoring a water-damaged collection: at Colorado State University." Library Journal Dec. 1999: p. 6-7.
Lunde describes the flood of the CSU Library in which 426,500 volumes were soaked. She briefly describes the options available to the library, the decisions made and the reasons for various choices. She has a short but interesting mention of a study of patron reactions to damaged materials.

Martin, John H. "Après le déluge… Resuscitating a Water-logged Library." Wilson Library Bulletin Nov. 1975: p. 233-241.
A detailed description of the 1972 flood of the Corning Museum of Glass and the associated library. This article focuses exclusively on the library and the decisions made and problems faced by the staff following this event in the salvage and restoration of their collection.

Robertson, Guy. "People, Paper, Data: Disaster Planning for Libraries." 1997: 38-43. Course handout.
A concise discussion of some of the major issues in disaster planning and prevention along with a sample response plan.

"Roof leak stirs town to action: Kemp Public Library, Wichita Falls, Tex.." American Libraries Nov. 1995: 1000.
A brief description of a flood involving 1,400 volumes at a public library and the actions and results of the damage.

Spawn, Willman. "After the Water Comes." PLA Bulletin Nov 1993: 243-251.
Spawn describes the key issues and concerns following a flood in a library and then presents a hypothetical situation in order to take the reader through the decision making process.

Waters, Peter. "Procedures for Salvage of Water Damaged Library Materials." 2nd ed. Washington: Library of Congress, 1979.
Probably the single most important work on salvaging flood materials. Waters discusses the issues a library will face in dealing with wet materials and provides lists of instructions on what to do and not to do to best manage the situation.

---. "Procedures for Salvage of Water Damaged Library Materials extracts from unpublished revised text." Jul. 1993. The Library of Congress. 08 Aug. 2005.
Although officially "unpublished", this document can be found all over the internet. It contains some minor revisions and updates of Waters' previous work. Some sections have been rewritten or reorganized, which improves the ease of use.

Webb, Chris. "Disaster Recovery in the York Flood of 2000." Journal of the Society of Archivists 22.2 (2001): 247-52.
In this article, Webb details the steps taken by the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research to salvage the files of a local company, which had been flooded when the river overflowed its banks. It contains a useful exploration of how to best air drying loose papers, among other issues.

© 2006 Stacey Bissell
Originally written for LIS 598, August 2005
Adapted for LIS 600, March 2006
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Alberta