Mystery Cloaks Loss of Records, Art on 9/11

Archivists still not sure how much was lost in Sept. 11 attacks
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2011 8:23 AM CDT
Mystery Cloaks Loss of Records, Art on 9/11
Besides ending nearly 3,000 lives, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks destroyed tens of thousands of records, irreplaceable historical documents and art. Shown: a damaged photographer's proof sheet.   (AP Photo/National September 11 Memorial & Museum)

(Newser) – Among the casualties of the Sept. 11 attacks: countless artworks and historical records. Among the wreckage were 21 libraries, letters written by Helen Keller, sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder, and 40,000 photographic negatives taken of John F. Kennedy by his personal cameraman, reports the AP in a look at the mystery surrounding the scope and specifics of the loss. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had much of its archives stored there, but did not have "a detailed list" of its holdings.

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More losses: The Cantor Fitzgerald brokerage owned a large collection of drawings and sculptures, including a cast of Rodin's "The Thinker." The Ferdinand Gallozzi Library of US Customs Service had documents related to US trade dating back to the 1840s. The 6 World Trade Center building housed nearly 900,000 objects excavated from Manhattan's Five Points neighborhood. Like so many other residents of the seven-building trade center complex, a decade later the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has only "a general idea" of what was lost. (Read more September 11 stories.)

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