Monday, June 12, 2006

Goldwater memorabilia is being lost to time

[Source: Matthew Benson, Arizona Republic] -- Historic preservation and modern fiscal conservatism collide in a fourth-floor room at Arizona State University's Hayden Library. This is home to the Goldwater Papers, the world's largest collection of letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and every manner of correspondence from Sen. Barry Goldwater. The Republican and political titan, considered by many the forefather of modern conservatism, died in 1998. But here he remains - his spirit, anyway - kept in box upon box and stacked floor to ceiling.

There are at least 2 million documents, not including microfilm, videotapes and other records. Some photographs date back to the 1800s. "His legacy is right here. This is it," archivist Linda Whitaker says. "I find something every day that just blows me away." But she and others with the Arizona Historical Foundation, which manages the collection, worry that it's in jeopardy. Much has yet to be cataloged and preserved, and the enemies of preservation - air, humidity and time - are slowly eroding history. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]