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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 2, 2010

UI museum staff to give advice on saving family treasures damaged by floodwater

In light of the recent flooding in the Lake Delhi area, staff from the University of Iowa museums will present a free event on flood salvage Tuesday, Aug. 3 at the Manchester Library, 304 North Franklin St., Manchester, Iowa.

Visitors are welcome to drop by between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to ask questions about saving water-damaged personal objects and pick up information. UI staff will be at the library to give demonstrations and advice. Please do not bring objects to the library.

Tiffany Adrain of the UI Department of Geoscience, who works with the UI museums on preservation issues, will give advice on recovering flood-damaged items.

"Many people’s first reaction to seeing their precious family mementos covered in dirty floodwater or mud is one of shock and loss. However, you do not necessarily need to throw your prized possessions away even if they are wet and covered in dirt," she said.

Adrain explained that a little gentle washing and careful drying can save books, photos, CDs, records and DVDs, paper documents, textiles and furniture from the dumpster.

"Wet books can be frozen to prevent further damage and mold growth until there’s time to dry them properly. Muddy photographs can be rinsed and air-dried and even artwork can be saved," said Shalla Ashworth, director of operations for the UI Pentacrest Museums.

Information for dealing with water-damaged objects is also available on-line from the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium ( and Heritage Preservation website ( The staff at the UI Libraries Preservation Department are available weekdays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for telephone consultations at 319-335-5908.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tiffany Adrain, UI Department of Geoscience, 319-335-1822,; Shalla Ashworth, UI Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-0548,; George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services, 319-384-0012,