Records are fragile. While I have written several times about the need to make duplicate copies of all records of genealogical significance and to always store them in a different location, a new article by Cristian Salazar and Randy Herschaft of the Associated Press adds one more cause of record losses to the list: terrorism.
Besides ending nearly 3,000 lives, destroying airplanes and reducing buildings to tons of rubble and ash, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks destroyed tens of thousands of records, irreplaceable historical documents, and art. Items lost included forty-thousand photographic negatives of John F. Kennedy taken by the president's personal cameraman, letters written by Helen Keller, a collection of documents related to U.S. trade dating back to at least the 1840s, 900,000 objects excavated from the Five Points neighborhood of lower Manhattan (a famous working-class slum of the 19th century), and millions of documents stored on hard disk drives in computers within the building.
The EEOC had to reconstruct 1,500 discrimination case files. Cases were delayed for months. Computers had been backed up only as of Aug. 31, 2001. Witness interviews had to be conducted all over again.
You can read more in the Seattle Times at http://goo.gl/EYUYR.
All documents and computer files need to have duplicates made and stored in a different location.
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