This is a microcosm of the danger facing American archives. Because almost nothing is catalogued at the item-level, most of the unique material housed in these most important of repositories is particularly vulnerable to theft. When someone like Breithaupt steals a book, even a very old book, there is a catalog record that tells us it is missingâ€”and likely some kind of duplicate copy somewhere else in the world. But when he steals a letter from Flannery Oâ€™Connor to John Crowe Ransomâ€”unless that letter has been photocopied by another personâ€”it basically ceases to exist. Not only do we not have the information in it, but we donâ€™t even know that we donâ€™t have the information in it.