Thursday, September 04, 2008

And in this corner, weighing in at ...

By far our heaviest single archival item is the Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children Book of Remembrance (I think it must be a contender for longest official title as well). I've often thought about weighing it and adding that information to the guide, if only to stop myself from hyping the heft to unwary researchers through ever greater hyperbole. Since it's unlikely that anyone would ever want to steal a page or two from it, though, I can't really justify daily weigh-ins like those held for the Gutenberg Bible in at least one American repository.

Today, someone asked us for digital photos of the book, which gave me yet another opportunity to reap the health benefits of working in special collections. Measuring 19 inches high by 13 inches wide by 5 inches thick, the leather-bound scrapbook records the names of donors to the Doernbecher Hospital during the 1920s. Proof positive that buildings can be built with small donations, the Doernbecher is celebrating its 82nd anniversary this year, in a new building which is unquestionably more modern and better equipped than its predecessor (and has better art!), but lacks some of the charm of the older structure.

The hospital has always benefited from tremendous community support; information on current giving opportunities and fundraising events is available on the Doernbecher web site.

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