Georgetown Library Open Again After Fire Destroyed Books, Collections | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Georgetown Library Open Again After Fire Destroyed Books, Collections

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Three and a half years after a fire ripped through D.C.'s Georgetown Library, destroying thousands of books and damaging irreplaceable artifacts, the historic library is opening its doors once again.

Neighbors in Georgetown say the library was more than just a place to check out books. There were the story times, the tea parties, and there was the Peabody Collection: a treasure trove of local artifacts and public records and irreplaceable items like a 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence.

Council Member Jack Evans remembers that day in 2007. The first call he fielded told him the library was on fire.

"The next call we got in my office was from someone who said, you've got to tell the fire chief the Peabody Collection is on the third floor, and whatever they do they’ve got to save that," Evans says.

Fortunately, the Peabody Collection survived. A lot of the artifacts have undergone extensive restorations, and others are still waiting to be fixed up. But officials say the collection will be on full public display.

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