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February 28, 2011 / Council of State Archivists

Stolen History

This article originall appeared in the editorial section on www.nytimes.com on February 24, 2011.

Last month, the National Archives banned an amateur historian who did what should have been unthinkable: He doctored the date on a valuable Lincoln document. Now the archives has found that it has a more widespread problem, with underhanded “scholars” and sneak thieves making off with American treasures to sell on the black market to history buffs. “We have people alone with images and artifacts all the time,” Paul Brachfeld, the inspector general of the archives told The Washington Post. “The thieves all say how easy it was,” he said, describing recent efforts to better secure archives and track down missing items. [link to full article]

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