Racing against time to preserve Hemingway

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Some books are warped. The ink on notes is fading, and many pages are torn.

This is the state of a large portion of Ernest Hemingway's papers and books left at his home in Cuba, Finca Vigia . For about 46 years, this grand collection of Hemingway-scribed documents, books, letters, and manuscripts has sat quietly at his former retreat, weathering hurricanes, humidity, and time.

Now, a rare collaboration between American nonprofit groups and the Cuban government may preserve Papa's papers at Finca Vigia, which has been transformed into a museum. That collaboration even brought efforts closer to home.

Last week, Rosalba Diaz , curator of the Hemingway Museum just outside of Havana, was in Andover picking up tips from the Northeast Document Conservation Center. In the quiet Andover offices, Diaz observed advanced techniques on how to repair damaged pages and restore papers and book covers. She watched how others have repaired torn pages and saw how the center protected aging documents.

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