Magazine article American Libraries

Plant Library Torched at U. Washington

Magazine article American Libraries

Plant Library Torched at U. Washington

Article excerpt

The University of Washington's Elisabeth C. Miller Horticultural Library is closed indefinitely in the wake of a late-night May 21 fire at UW's Center for Urban Horticulture, which houses the library.

"One of the most difficult moments of the week was going back into the glass-littered, soaked, and horribly smoky library, garbed in a hard hat to protect from the falling ceiling, and realizing, finally, that all the library shelves, tables, chairs, desks, and computers were ruined," library manager and Seattle Times horticulture columnist Valerie Easton wrote June 24 in a column she devoted to the fire's aftermath. However, she continued, "The good news is that all the books, as well as files, journals, catalogs, and videos, were rescued in the first 48 hours after the fire." Most of the 8,000-book general collection and several specialized collections sustained heavy smoke damage.

The fire, which officials quickly determined was arson, began in the office of botany geneticist H. D. "Toby" Bradshaw, whose hybridization work with poplar trees is seen by environmental activists as genetic-engineering research. …

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