Starting in the 1940s, people began donating books to the Alabama State Archives. They were not thrown away, but neither were they cataloged. A part-timer is now going through boxes and finding collectibles like an 1862 Richmond edition of the federal standard, Instruction for Heavy Artillery. "It is a treasure that was neglected. It's not anybody's fault. It's just that they (archives officials) never had money to have the staff to do it," the part-timer said.

I'm not sure that's true. In another part of the same article, we read that "Archives staff members in the last two decades have spent more time repairing portraits and Civil War flags and organizing the archives' collections of photos, maps, newspapers, manuscripts and government records."

In other words, the Archive neglected its books to fuss with knick-knacks.