The 10-year renovation project at Firestone Library, which started in 2010, has already led to some notable changes, from the removal of the original metal carrels to improvements in several study areas. In the process, construction crews and library staff have turned up dozens of discarded items, often hidden in tight spaces.
Since late September, the library has been displaying objects found during the renovation in an exhibition called “Building Firestone.” Housed in a long display table near the main entrance, the collection includes yellowed newspapers and spring-break travel brochures, dust-caked cans of Schmidt’s beer and bottles of Coke, student sketches, a discarded art-history exam from 1959, and a mason’s tobacco pipe, which was sealed in a wall.
One of the more interesting finds was carefully removed from the cavity in the back of a bust of former Princeton president James McCosh. A piece of notebook paper, folded into an origami crane, bore the following note: “On March 20,1969, 4:37 p.m. this particular paper was inserted in the orifice located posteriorally (to the subject’s face) so that you, the discoverer of this message, will be cognizant of its significance.”
If you have any memory of the mystery note, please add a comment below. “Building Firestone” is expected to remain on display through December in the entrance hall of Firestone.