Rare Books Rot In The Grigol Tsereteli Science Library

Photos & Article May 3, 2007 by Karen Shimizu

At Tbilisi State University, Georgia. This is related to an article posted here.

The Smell of Decaying Literature
TSU librarians’ search for funding battles the clock as 67,000 rare and foreign books sit rotting in the library basement

When Mzia Razmadze was appointed Acting Director of the Grigol Tsereteli Scientific Library at Tbilisi State University, she discovered that the first two floors of the library were occupied by a robust forest of paper-eating fungus. In and of itself, this might not be such a tragedy, however the fungus happened to be feasting upon TSU’s 67,000-volume collection of rare and foreign books. As the library’s Acting Director, Razmadze has inherited a number of problems that are symptomatic of the higher education system overall – ailing infrastructure, chronic under-funding, obsolete methodologies—as well as problems that might be more in-line with those of a museum curator such as the restoration and preservation of objects of cultural and historical value. “We have a unique collection from the 15th and 16th centuries,” Razmadze says. “There are no other collections like this, either in Georgia or in other libraries.” more >>>

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