Brooklyn Historical Society Seeks Funds After Leak Damages Collection

The Brooklyn Historical Society headquarters in Brooklyn Heights. Photo by Susan De Vries

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    While the Brooklyn Historical Society’s doors have been closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, the organization is facing a new challenge after the climate control system leaked last week and damaged its collections in the Othmer Library.

    According to a letter from BHS President Deborah Schwartz, the leak was caught quickly by staff who have been monitoring the collections daily, even during the virus shutdown. Nonetheless, some artifacts and manuscripts were damaged and archival boxes dampened by the water.

    Damaged objects will need conservation, numerous items will need to be rehoused in archival boxes and the HVAC system will need to be repaired as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. The organization has emergency funds set aside for situations such as this, but the damage exceeds the funds, the letter said.

    A special fundraising page shows the organization needs to raise $100,000 to cover the damage caused by the leak and restore the emergency fund.

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