March 2010 | Jeremy Dibbell

Evidence in Scott Case Hits the Web

An update to Rebecca's post from Monday:

The New York Times has posted a series of emails between accused archives thief William John Scott and Norm Conrad, described by the Times as "the curator of the Christian Heritage Museum and marketing director of an affiliated dealer in religious artifacts called 'Rare Bibles and More,' both in Hagerstown, Md." You can read the annotated emails here.

In the tenth email uploaded by the Times, Conrad asks Scott to provide provenance information about the letters (Scott had claimed to have inherited them from his grandfather). Scott replies saying that he's "unsure where he acquired them, sorry."

Conrad told the Times he learned only Monday (when Scott was arrested) that the documents had been stolen, and that they would be returned to Drew University. The FBI is planning to retrieve the items from Maryland. "Calling Mr. Scott 'too bright for his own good,' Mr. Conrad said, 'he definitely has to do some time because it's a major mistake. But, man, what a waste of a life.'"

In other news, another former employee of the United Methodist Archives at Drew, Swetha Iyengar, has an essay at about the case, which includes quotes from several other former archives employees.