“The extent of the disaster is unimaginable if you have not seen it. Six thousand shops destroyed and many buildings and sections of the Lungarno damaged almost beyond repair, the whole city buried under a sea of stinking mud.

You will have heard the preliminary reports of the disasters in the cultural sector: the Santa Croce Cimabue Crucifix is gone, five panels from the Ghiberti doors which have been recovered, Procacci announces 1,370 pictures which need restoring and estimates approximately 1,000,000 volumes under water and mud, including all the folios of the Magliabechiana and all the newspapers and many of the collected reviews from 1870. In the Archivio the Conventi soppressi and all the documents of the Capitani del Popolo  under water.”

letter from Myron P. Gilmore to Millard Meiss, 10 November 1966
(CRIA VIT 02.01.00001)