University News
For Immediate Release: 
Mar 11 2001

Sunken Treasure on Display at Concord Library Through May 11

Athens, W.Va. - The J. Frank Marsh Library of Concord College recently received items retrieved from the safe of the Andrea Doria, an Italian ocean liner that sank off the New England coast on July 25, 1956.

“The donation consists of bank notes which were retrieved from the sunken ship in 1981,” said Stephen Rowe, the Director of Marsh Library. “The currency was dried, cleaned and mounted in archival plastic slips to preserve it from deterioration after its
25-year stay at the bottom of the ocean.”

Items the College received include a one dollar silver certificate, a ten dollar American Express Traveler’s Check, a one thousand lire note and a photograph of the Andrea Doria before the accident which resulted in the sinking of the ship.

The Kellog Joslyn Trust in Toluca Lake, California, donated the “sunken treasure” to Concord College. The Trust has made these donations available to a large number of American museums or libraries that maintain archival collections.

The S. S. Andrea Doria was a 30,000-ton ocean liner which was approximately 700 feet long and sank in 1951 after just five years of service. The ship collided with the Swedish liner Stockholm in the darkness at 11:10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 1956. By ten o’clock the next day, Andrea Doria went to the bottom, taking 47 of her 1,706 passengers to their deaths. The Stockholm lost nearly 70 feet of its bow in the collision, but the Swedish ship did manage to return to New York without sinking.

In August, 1981, Peter Gimble and his wife Elga Andersen located the purser’s safe in the hulk of the Andrea Doria during a salvage mission. Despite working through hurricane Dennis, one of the fiercest storms of the 20th century, the expedition managed to raise the safe on August 25, 1981. The safe was opened during a live network telecast on August 3, 1984, and the process of processing and preserving the currency from the safe began. The Concord College Andrea Doria display features some of that currency.

The framed “sunken treasure” from the Andrea Doria will be on public display in the main reading room of the J. Frank Marsh Library from March 19 through May 11, 2001. The Library is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. On Friday, hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Weekend hours are Saturday, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m and Sunday, 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. At the end of the term, the display will go into the Concord College Archives Collection where it may be viewed or studied by special arrangement through Dr. Stephen Rowe, the Library Director. Dr. Rowe may be contacted at 1-304-384-5366 or at rowe@concord.edu.

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Concord College Notes: The College’s library has a seating capacity of 200, more than 145,000 volumes, and approximately 600 current subscriptions. The collection has been chosen with the College Community in mind but members of the public are permitted use of the College Library resources.

The Library is a partial depository for United States government documents, maintains a significant special collection of West Virginia historical materials, preserves a Concord College archival collection, and houses the Wells Goodykoontz Collection of autographed portraits and photographs of presidents and well known personalities.

The Library's automated catalog uses VTLS software and aside from providing access to the book holdings of the College, provides information on the periodical holdings of the College, information on the specific holdings of U.S. Government Documents, and access to an online periodical index with virtually thousands of magazines and journals from which to gain access to full text and abstract articles in their original form, and are fully cited.

PO BOX 1000, VERMILLION ST., ATHENS, WV 24712.