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Museum Archivists Offer Restoration Resources for Louisiana Neighbors Dealing with Flood Damage

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Many friends of The National WWII Museum have reached out to ask if we have suffered any of the catastrophic flooding occurring elsewhere in Louisiana. We’re happy to report that we have not. The Museum is safe and open to visitors.

Unfortunately, many of our fellow Louisiana residents have been less fortunate. If, like us, you are looking for ways to help, this NOLA.com post lists donation and contact information for many relief agencies doing vital work in the state right now.

As the disaster has unfolded, the Museum’s curators and archivists have been fielding queries about how to save precious photos, books, and documents damaged by floodwater. Museum staffers—who deal with fragile WWII-era artifacts every day, working to preserve every piece for future generations—have been able to offer some valuable insights on salvaging these fragile treasures.

Below, assembled by our archivists, are links to several sites with tips and advice used by professional archivists, records managers, and librarians that can offer helpful guidance for personal collections as well.

Much of the advice can be summed up this way: Separate the damaged items, place them on a flat surface on top of something absorbent, and circulate the air.

Acting quickly is key to preventing mold growth.


Northeast Document Conservation Center: Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs

Tips on saving water-damaged photographs by air-drying or freezing. Also tips on saving flood-damaged slides.

Northeast Document Conservation Center: Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records

Tips on air-drying wet documents and books.

From The National WWII Museum blog See & Hear: Slow Your Mold: Preservation Tips

Mold-remediation procedures for documents, books, and objects.

Association of Moving Image Archivists: Disaster Recovery for Films in Flooded Areas

Practical and useful information about recovering film after a flood.


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