The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, founded with money from the steel industry, yesterday announced an ambitious project to preserve its archive of Pittsburgh's iron and steel business.
The impetus for the project is a $600,000 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The money will fund a three-year program to digitalize the library's 400,000 pages documenting the area's historic role in the production of industrial metals.
"The state of our collection is not ideal," said library Director Barbara Mistick. "About 20 percent of it is too fragile to touch. This project will not only preserve it but make it available to everyone."
At the instigation of its founder, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, the library became a repository for data and research from iron and steel firms dating to the early 19th century, Ms. Mistick said.
"As Pittsburgh celebrates its 250th birthday, it seemed to us that we could recognize the importance of Andrew Carnegie and the steel industry by preserving our collection."