At present, it's hard to tell just how badly the city's archives and other cultural heritage institutions have been affected by the flood. Parts of the city are still off-limits to everyone except emergency personnel, residents are being encouraged to stay off the roads, and many archivists, librarians, and curators are focused -- and rightfully so -- on making sure that their loved ones are safe or on salvaging what they can from their flood-damaged homes.
Word is starting to get out via e-mail and the Web sites of repositories in the area:
- A colleague of mine learned today that although the main Tennessee State Library and Archives building experienced only minor problems, the State Records Center is located in an area that flooded quite badly. Staff are waiting for permission to travel to the facility and assess the extent of the damage.
- The main branch of the Nashville Public Library, which houses the Special Collections Division, was open today. Almost all of the branch libraries, including the Metropolitan Government Archives facility, were also open.
- Although a roof leak prompted the temporary closure of Vanderbilt University's Central Library, all of its libraries were open today.
Wondering how you can help? A number of reputable organizations are accepting donations earmarked for flood victims, and the Society of American Archivists' National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives provides financial support for disaster recovery activities.