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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keeping Track of 10 Billion

Photo by NCinDC

Ten billion historical documents--that's a lot of things to stand watch over! Ten billion is the approximate number of records in the National Archives, and, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article, "Guardians of the Nation's Attic," "When Paul Brachfeld took over as inspector general of the National Archives, guardian of the country's most beloved treasures, he discovered the American people were being stolen blind."

Holy cows! We are the American people! It's our historical stuff that has been purloined!

Art museums are generally targets for thieves, which is understandable, but archives? Think of this--if, on the auction circuit a letter signed by Lincoln goes for tens of thousands of dollars, then the idea of document theft suddenly makes more sense! Especially when a letter-sized document can so easily be hidden up a sleeve! Fortunately, WE have a team of crime-busters at work on our behalf under the supervision of Paul Brachfeld. Thanks guys!

To read about other dastardly thievery, look for this book on your next visit: The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey [025.82 HAR]. Harvey,
...discovers the Island of Lost Maps. The deeper Miles Harvey investigates, the more we are drawn into this fascinating subculture of collectors, experts, and enthusiasts, all of them gripped by an obsession both surreal and sublime.

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