In the early hours of Friday, May 3, 1966 heavy rains caused a storm sewer to blow and water began emptying into a tunnel that served the new wing of the Fondren Library. By the time it was over the entire basement, including the Rare Book Room, was flooded. It’s a sickening sight even now and it’s hard to imagine what it must have felt like at the time. But in true stalwart librarian fashion, cleanup began before it was even fully light outside. It must have been a long day and probably a long weekend as well. There was a significant amount of damage.
It looks like lots of people pitched in. Here’s Professor Tsanoff drying out rare books by sliding pieces of paper in between the leaves:
Bonus: I just like the way this looks.