Students and curious individuals all over the world travel to libraries and archives to do research using invaluable historical documents. But when these files go missing, the information on the papers have the potential to be lost forever.
Some thought this was the case in Vermont, where Barry Landau, posing as a historian, allegedly stole thousands of pieces of correspondence from figures including Karl Marx, President Franklin Roosevelt and President William Taft, WCAX reported. After Landau's arrest, some of the items were returned to the University of Vermont (UVM).
"They're not available anywhere else, or they're not available many other places, so they're materials that we are stewards of for the general public," UVM's library dean, Mara Saule, told the radio station.
While the loss of the original documents would have been a shame, the information contained in the various letters would have been safe if the library had used document imaging tools to preserve the files online. Not only could the minds of administrators have been put at ease, but researchers would have still been able to take advantage of the texts when Landau had them in his possession.
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