07/28/2016 12:00 am

WHNT19 News

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - The Limestone County Archives will close to the public for renovations beginning August 1.

At 111 years old, the Limestone County Archives holds books and records twice its age.

"Everyone likes to put the cool old stuff in the cool old building, but it's not perfect as far as preservation goes," explained Limestone County Archivist Rebekah Davis. "We don't have fire protection."

While its doors close to the public, they will be installing a fire suppression system to protect the building and everything in it.

"Without a fire suppression system, no one would know this building was on fire until they saw smoke," said Davis.

And at that point, it'd be too late. At the same time, they hope to add UV film to the windows to protect documents from sun damage, among other things.

"We're also adding lighting because on a cloudy day you can't see very well in here," Davis explained.

Inside and out, they will also repaint to make it look as new as it was in 1905, but safer.

"We're having people come in to remove all the lead paint and all the rotten boards on the outside that are covered in lead paint," said Davis.

Beginning August 22, they will provide services by appointment only, hoping for total completion by February of 2017.

But for now, the focus is long term preservation of centuries of history.

"The building itself is on the state and national Register of Historic Places," explained Davis. "It's filled with our county's story."

While you can't get in the building, many of the records are digitized and available online on the Limestone Archives website.

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