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Craig Preservation Lab

Something afoot in the President’s Office

We’ve been disbinding a large University Archives collection of copybooks of outgoing correspondence from the Office of the President covering a few decades around the turn into the 20th century.  The office copies are on a very light-weight tissue; the disbinding will facilitate a scanning project which will in turn provide better access to researchers.

The topics of correspondence have been relatively run of the mill with an odd perk here and there such as an order for gymnasium equipment c.1895: trapeeze bars, a ‘thigh machine’, juggling clubs and medicine balls, as well as a letter of recommendation for a graduate to a Miss Clara Barton of the Red Cross Society.

Until yesterday, in a volume from early 1906…


BRAINS! TRAPS! CHEMICALS! A quick perusal on Google points toward the chemicals being commonly used in preserving human tissue. An express delivery of ‘government’ traps to the Donaldson Farm? Only one thing comes to mind: A clandestine, experimental zombie lab that to this day has never been exposed.  Further orders for electrical wiring supplies only confirmed our suspicions.

-as a side note, if you’d like to read more about copybooks and copy presses- the forerunners to carbon paper, Xerox machines and scanners- have a look through this book.

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