Listed below are general resources that may be useful to Massachusetts institutions of any type. Included here are links to comprehensive lists of resources that other organizations have previously compiled and shared.
After the important steps of identifying, communicating, isolating, and responding to disaster comes recovery and salvage. Have objects burned or got wet? Have they crumbled or shattered? Gather data about what objects have been damaged, how many, and the extent of their damage. Make a list and include cataloging and accession numbers.
When an emergency exceeds your ability to respond effectively — whether due to limited resources, lack of a disaster plan, or lack of staff trained to carry out the plan — it may be necessary to contact disaster recovery experts. There are relatively few reputable companies experienced in salvaging buildings and collections (e.g., drying and cleaning buildings, wet books, documents, computer data, microfilm, and audio/video) for cultural institutions. When you create or update your disaster plan, be sure to contact the companies to let them know they are in your plan. It is advisable to establish a relationship with more than one vendor; in a widespread disaster, your sole vendor may not be able to accommodate you as early as you’d like.
Establishing Relationships with Recovery Vendors, published by COSTEP MA, will help you prepare for establishing a relationship with recovery vendors. It was created with input from peer institutions, as well as the vendors themselves, to improve the sometimes chaotic Emergency Response process. If you have not yet established contracts with recovery vendors, there is no better time than the present. Written with input from vendors and individuals who have worked with recovery vendors, this overview will help you prepare for the process. Click “Establishing Relationships with Recovery Vendors” to access the document.
Format-specific recovery resources
- Books: Cloth or Paper Covers, Minnesota Historical Society
- Books: Leather or Vellum Covers, Minnesota Historical Society
- Bound Volumes with Coated (glossy) Paper, National Archives and Records Administration
- Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper, Northeast Document Conservation Center
- Freezing and Drying Wet Books and Records, Northeast Document Conservation Center
- Paper: Coated, Minnesota Historical Society
- Paper: Uncoated, Minnesota Historical Society
- Vellum and Parchment: Bindings and Documents, Minnesota Historical Society
- Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs, Northeast Document Conservation Center
- Photographs, Minnesota Historical Society
- Textiles and Clothes, Minnesota Historical Society
- Textiles: Costume Accessories, Minnesota Historical Society
- Emergency Treatment of Water-damaged Paintings on Canvas, Canadian Conservation Institute
- Salvaging Art on Paper, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
- Disaster Recovery for Films in Flooded Areas,Association of Moving Image Archivists
- Microfilm and Motion Picture Film, Minnesota Historical Society
- Microfiche, Minnesota Historical Society
- Magnetic Media: Computer Diskettes, Minnesota Historical Society
- Magnetic Media: Reel-to-Reel Tapes, Minnesota Historical Society
- Magnetic Media, Damage Mitigation and Recovery, National Archives and Records Administration
- Electronic Media: Hard Drives, National Archives and Records Administration
- Optical Media – CD/DVD, National Archives and Records Administration
Federally-declared Disasters open the doors for certain organizations to apply for monetary assistance. See FEMA’s page on “Public Assistance: Local, State, Tribal and Private Non-Profit.”