Many items in Rhode Island’s archives are at risk of damage

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An assessment of the Rhode Island state archives has found that many items, including the state’s copy of the Bill of Rights, are at risk of damage because they’re kept in a building that’s not meant for preserving rare, historic documents.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea on Tuesday released the assessment by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. She suggested constructing a new building for the archives.

The report says many items are at risk of damage from water, light, dust and atmospheric pollution.

An estimated 35% of the collection should be considered a high priority for conservation. That includes the draft of the Bill of Rights sent to Rhode Island for its consideration and an 1823 printing of the Declaration of Independence.

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