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Treasures on show again after building collapse

The Local · 3 Jan 2012, 08:00

Published: 03 Jan 2012 08:00 GMT+01:00

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The reading room in the restoration and digitalization centre as well as part of the library and photograph collection will be open to the public, with some restored documents dating back to the Middle Ages.

At first, most of the documents on show will be those which have been digitalized, with increasing numbers of originals to be made available as restoration continues. It is expected to take up to 50 years before the entire collection is restored, however.

Of the 60,000 or so original documents dating from between 922 and 1815, just 600 will be on display from Tuesday, while photographs of pictures portraying Cologne-related events and people will also be available.

One of the highlights of the show will be the original constitutional founding document from 1396 that established Cologne as a city, said Frank Neweling, spokesman for the archive.

The archive collapsed on March 3, 2009, killing two people and burying 30 kilometres of treasured historical archives, including the Nobel Literature Laureate Heinrich Böll’s papers and the Middle Ages writings of theologian Albertus Magnus.

Around 95 percent of the documents were recovered, despite initial fears that most may have been destroyed. The reason for the collapse has still not been established, although a connection with nearby tunnelling work for a new underground train line has been suspected.

A new building is scheduled to be ready in 2015.

Story continues below…

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:27 January 3, 2012 by wood artist
It's truly wonderful to see that archivists were able to save so much. History like that is one thing that can never be replaced, even with a digital copy.

16:46 January 3, 2012 by Englishted
Totally agree with your comment wood artist ,thank goodness there were people skilled enough to undertake the task.

We owe them a big thank you.
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