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The 43rd Anniversary of the great flood of Florence

Published on November 5, 2009 6:54 PM | Comments

Well - I guess 43 is a quiet one. I had totally forgot about the flood this year, and I didn't notice any of the usual activity around town (I was sick for a couple of days - probably would have picked up on something if I was out and about more). Anyway - the date was yesterday. Maybe on the 45th there will be more activity (like there was on the 40th year).

Americans Who Helped in the Florence Flood Rescue Effort

Published on October 21, 2006 10:08 AM | Comments

This article is about 10 years old, but contains some good facts about people coming to Florence to help with the clean up and restoration:

On arriving in Florence, he was astounded by the immensity of the task. Something like a million books from the BNC alone, including hundreds of thousands of old and rare books, had been damaged by the flood. Although all the books had been dried by early 1967, he estimated that it would take a staff of about 100 working on book restoration for another 20 years at the Library just to undo the worst of what the Arno River had done in minutes.

That was a conservative estimate, as they are still restoring books 40 years later!

The Florence Flood of November 1966

Published on October 10, 2006 3:49 PM | Comments

There is a really good paper about the flood here. Unfortunately it is a PDF file and not so easy to navigate (the best thing would be to download the file and view it with a PDF viewer - like Adobe Acrobat - or print it out). This paper is the transcript of a lecture with slides given by Christopher Clarkson in 2003. Clarkson was in Florence in 1966 and worked on rescuing books at The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Firenze first hand. This is probably one of the best source materials on the web for the Florence flood and a very compelling read.

How many people died in the flood of florence?

Published on October 6, 2006 10:58 AM | Comments

It is pretty hard to find the answer to this question on the web. Most of the history of the flood centers around the damage done to Florence's works of art, but there was also a tragic human toll to the flood. Channel 4 from England has a website devoted to history, and in the section called "Cities and disaster" we found this:

"At least 30 people died, and 50,000 families were made homeless. There was a food shortage, 15,000 wrecked cars were strewn about the streets and 6,000 shops went out of business.

Estimates suggest that 14,000 movable works of art were damaged, plus three or four million books and manuscripts."

The whole article is only about a page long, but it is an excellent primer on the flood.


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