7. Time Capsule

In January 2013, while a construction worker was working on an expansion of the Crematory and Columbarium, he discovered small metal box buried in a wall. It turned out to be a time capsule from 1954 containing six, 19th-century published books on the Green-Wood Cemetery. Some titles include “A Handbook for Green-Wood”(1867) and “Green-Wood Illustrated” (1847), both written by Nehmiah Cleaveland, the cemetery’s first historian.

The books suffered severe water damage despite being wrapped in plastic, leaving the pages to turn into pulp. Retired Professor Anthony Cucchiara of Brooklyn College, an expert in dealing with water damaged artifacts, was involved in the restoration process, ordering the books to be frozen to prevent any further damage.

After freezing, the titles became visible, but the overall conditions were beyond salvaging. The good news is though, those same titles are not entirely out of print as copies are part of Green-Woods’ collection.

Next, check out What’s Inside the Oldest Time Capsule at the New York Historical Society.