The 2003 invasion of Iraq had many casualties, not the least of which was the collective memory of a nearly 5,000-year-old civilization, stretching from ancient cuneiform on clay tablets to the voluminous personal records of Saddam Hussein's secret police.

In the second issue of the magazine Document Journal, art historian Zainab Bahrani gives a first-hand account of the destruction of the National Library and State Archives of Iraq, an institution that collected thousands of historical documents, legal papers, manuscripts, clay tablets.

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