|1900||the Library arranges with the Government Printing Office to establish an in-house bindery|
|1940||the Library establishes the position of Keeper of the Collections|
|1963||the Library renames the Keeper's Office the Office of Collections Maintenance and Preservation|
|1965||the Library and the Association of Research Libraries jointly sponsor a national preservation planning conference|
|1966||the Florence flood damages millions of books and works of art|
|1967||the Library consolidates its preservation activities by establishing the Preservation Office (now Preservation Directorate)|
From Kenneth E. Harris and Susan E. Schur, A Brief History of Preservation and Conservation at the Library of Congress, October 2006 [PDF: 551 KB / 30 p.]
The 1966 Florence Flood fundamentally shaped the practice of book conservation and the emergency management of cultural heritage. This disastrous event coincided with the culmination of the Library's efforts to centralize its various preservation activities and within six months of the flood, the Library established its Conservation Division -- the oldest library conservation lab in the U.S. In 1971, the Library recruited the English master bookbinder Peter Waters to head the division, following his work managing the conservation of thousands of water-damaged books from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Firenze.
Staff Peter hired, following practices he fostered, still work in the division, and the Library's collections emergency management initiatives and national taskforce work represent a vibrant continuation of that legacy.
2016 Library Events on the 50th Anniversary of the Florence Flood:
Film Screening -- Florence: Days of Destruction, a documentary film of the 1966 Florence Flood by Franco Zeffirelli
Lecture -- Emergency Management since the Florence Flood: Federal Programs and National Initiatives