Archivists don’t do time capsules. Here’s why…

by Sally J.

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One of the most basic rules of preservation is this:

If you want something to last fifty years or more, do NOT store it underground.*

Why oh why do otherwise rational humans insist on burying their treasures?

What you see in the amazing photo above is the most common kind of damage you get when you bury something: water damage. That 1957 Plymouth sure was purty. I suppose it has a different kind of beauty now.

Unlike most time capsules, this one consisted very few items: The 1957 Plymouth, a bottle of tranquilizers, an unpaid parking ticket, several combs and a few bobby pins. Curious about why these items were chosen? Read more about Tulsa’s buried car time capsule here.

*Underground = Bad. That includes your basement, by the way. But wait! There is an exception to the “no bury” rule, and that’s salt mines. Even so, this kind of move is safest in the hands of professionals.

Photo by Michael Bates.

You can gawk at more hauntingly beautiful photos of Tulsa’s Buried Car in Michael’s Flickr photostream.


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