Baltimore was in danger of losing many of its most precious documents several years ago. A rented building near Druid Hill Park that was used to house the city's historic archives failed to meet even minimal standards for proper records storage. It was damp and moldy.

It lacked air conditioning. The roof leaked. Water got on the floor. Snakes crawled around the building. Few of the documents were available online, and there was no equipment to scan them in.

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