Preservation Publication Award: "Waters Rising: Letters from Florence" by Sheila Waters

Waters Rising: Letters from Florence by Sheila Waters (The Legacy Press, 2016) is the recipient of the 2017 Preservation Publication Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes the author or editor of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation.

Waters Rising documents the heroic effort to rescue cultural heritage in the wake of the infamous 1966 flood in Florence, Italy, that inundated the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze and left one-third of its collections submerged. Leading the rescue efforts was renowned bookbinder Peter Waters, who is considered “the father of preventative conservation” and greatly influenced present-day conservation philosophy and ethical standards. In Waters Rising, his wife Sheila traces his formative experiences and philosophies while outlining methods and observations made during the 1966 disaster recovery.

The SAA Awards Committee noted that “this work serves as a valuable record and inspirational learning tool, but is also a fitting tribute to Mr. Waters himself.”