Archival Adventures in Small Repositories
We hope that everyone is safe, dry, and secure in the wake of "Frankenstorm" Sandy! With all the excitement of the past few days, now is a good time to write--or review--the disaster plan for your institution.
Disaster planning is important at every institution, and essential for repositories safeguarding cultural heritage. This includes small archival repositories as well as large. The Society of American Archivists has an extensive annotated list of disaster preparedness resources at http://www2.archivists.org/initiatives/mayday-saving-our-archives/annotated-resources. Those resources particularly useful to small archival repositories include:
- The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts regularly offers disaster preparedness workshops (http://www.ccaha.org/)
- dPlan is an online disaster-planning tool designed for small institutions without in-house conservation staff (http://www.dplan.org/default.asp)
- Pocket Response Plan (PReP) is a concise, wallet-sized template for recording important disaster preparedness information (http://www.statearchivists.org/prepare/framework/prep.htm)
- "Resources for Recovery: Post-Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions" is a pamphlet outlining government aid that may be obtained in the wake of a disaster (http://www.heritagepreservation.org/PDFS/Aid%20Brochure.pdf)
- The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has excellent resources for disaster preparedness at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/local_government___judicial_system_services/2631/disaster_planning___vital_records_management/312506, including a disaster plan template and appendices listing local sources of additional information, supplies, and recovery services.
- Heritage Preservation has a page of disaster resources at http://www.heritagepreservation.org/PROGRAMS/TFcurrent.html
Overwhelmed by the long list above? Don't worry, there's an app for that! Heritage Preservation just released their popuar Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel as an iPhone/iPad app (or you can still buy it in paper form). Don't let the next disaster catch you unprepared!
The photograph at the top of this blog post is from the A. C. Chadwick scrapbooks at the East Falls Historical Society. The caption reads: "West Manayunk. Aftermath of the flood of February 28th 1902, at the old Pay Bridge, at Green Lane. Picture taken from west end of structure, on coming of March 1st, 1902, when the water had lowered three feet."