Date: 30 Oct 2006
From: Randy Silverman <randy.silverman [at] utah__edu>
Subject: Film on Florence flood
Historic Rare Book Conservation Footage
Saturday 4 November 2006 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1966
Florence flood, the catastrophic event that galvanized conservators
internationally and from which modern book conservation was born.
In the days following the flood, Peter Waters was heavily involved
in recovery operations at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di
Firenze including designing a lab, establishing conservation
protocols, and training a hundred people from various countries.
Money was a critical factor in the success of these efforts and Mr.
Waters, in collaboration with the Italian Art and Archives Rescue
Fund, set about creating a fund-raising tool for use in his
subsequent lectures in the United States.
An extraordinary and little-seen film resulted:"The Restoration of
Books, Florence, 1968." Shot by English film maker Roger Hill, the
movie captures the flavor of this historic event including rare
footage of Mr. Waters covering a book in leather and Christopher
Clarkson making a limp vellum binding. With permission from the film
maker and Mr. Waters' widow (renowned calligrapher Sheila Waters),
this 39-minute film is available for viewing free of charge through
the University of Utah at:
**** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
email. There should be no newline.
Streaming video is still in its infancy, so it is possible you may
experience some problems with the technology. Your ability to open
and play the video may hinge on your internet connection speed (you
will require DSL or better) and the age of your computer (in general
terms, a machine not more than three years old is required). The
video is available in three sizes with the smallest requiring the
least amount of technical sophistication from your machine.
If you have problems viewing this film, please contact me directly
for assistance. I strongly encourage anyone interested in the
Florence flood, Peter Waters, or the origins of modern book
conservation to see this movie. It is a rare and wonderful treat.
Preservation Librarian, University of Utah