City of Rochester’s historian determined to preserve part of history

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – (WROC) – Some disappointing news out of Rochester City Hall this evening. The city’s historian says they will not be able to save the materials inside a time capsule found in Highland Park.

According to the historian the capsule contained documents from Susan B. Anthony.

Christine Ridarsky said all of the contents of the capsule were waterlogged. Now she is hoping to turn to another technique to preserve a part of Rochester’s history.

The time capsule was found underneath the base of the Frederick Douglass statue in Highland Park. Crews discovered the box sitting inside the concrete slab.

It was partially open and full of papers saturated with water.

A conservator told Ridarsky there was nothing that could be done to salvage the documents. But the city’s historian is not giving up hope.

“What our plan is now is to freeze dry the contents,” said Ridarsky. “We are going to consult with another company with the professional process of freeze drying. They will use a process by where they will freeze and then do a vaccuum process where they remove any moisture remaining. That will stabalize the contents and allow us to store it for the future. So if we want to display the contents that will be possible.”

If the process is successful the contents could be on display at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Ridsarsky tells News 8 the capsule also contained a signed copy of the Declaration of Sentiments and a 1848 copy of the book “Slavery Unmasked.” The book was donated by the publisher.

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