Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Responding to Ike

News of Ike's impact on Gulf Coast cultural heritage institutions is just starting to come out, and some of the news is very bad. The Society of Southwest Archivists is allowing affected repositories to post updates on staff and collections on the unofficial SSA wiki, the Texas Association of Museums has information about museums affected by the hurricane, and the Texas Library Association is regularly reporting on the status of Southeast Texas libraries.

In 2005, the Society of American Archivists established a fund designed to help repositories affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This fund, which provided assistance to twenty-one archives, has just become the SAA National Disaster Recovery Fund. It will provide "grants that support the recovery of archival collections from major disasters regardless of region or repository type."

Given the extent of Ike's destruction, it's quite likely that the fund's current balance, which was $18,485 as of September 9, isn't going to go very far. Those of us who wish to aid our Gulf Coast colleagues ought to donate to the SAA National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives at this time. The online donation process is fast and easy.

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