News and Tribune

Clark County

February 14, 2009

Experts enlisted to save rare Remnant trust collection

Additional experts will be called in to help solve ongoing humidity problems thought to be endangering a rare books and manuscripts collection housed in Jeffersonville.

The collection — owned by Florida-based educational organization The Remnant Trust Inc. — contains texts dating back to the 15th century.

Recently, trust officials announced that they were considering a move out of Jeffersonville because of the humidity concerns. Representatives believe the building is too dry to safely care for the books.

Mayor Tom Galligan traveled to Florida earlier this week to meet with Remnant Trust board members, putting forth a plan to solve the problems. Galligan is a member of Jeffersonville’s Carnegie Library Foundation, which helped bring the trust to the old Carnegie building in Warder Park about two years ago.

“We’re going to fix the humidity,” Galligan said in an interview Friday.

Carnegie Library Foundation chair Tom Lindley said on Friday he, too, is optimistic the problems can be solved.

“From all indications, the meeting went well,” Lindley said.

The library building, which opened in 1904, underwent $4 million worth of renovations before the trust came to the area from its previous Indiana home of Hagerstown. The foundation has had little success working with the architect of that rehabilitation project and the contractor that built the heating, air conditioning and ventilation system in order to correct the problem.

About $30,000 has been spent in an attempt to fix the humidity in the building, Lindley said last week. Galligan said the foundation will enlist the help of rare book experts and those who’ve built storage systems for such purposes.

“I’m optimistic that it’s going to stay,” he said.

The library foundation will meet with Galligan at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss where to go from here, Lindley said.

If need be, Galligan said the books could be moved to a temporary storage facility in order to keep them safe until the problem is solved.

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