Libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation
organizations across the country will set aside May 31, 2012, to
participate in MayDay, a national—and international—effort to
prepare for disasters.
Any organization can participate in MayDay. In the past, partic-
ipants have held fire safety sessions, stockpiled emergency supplies,
and began or updated disaster plans. Heritage Preservation is
collecting examples of creative but practical measures such as
these to share online. Any cultural institution submitting a brief
description of 2012 MayDay plans or accomplishments by May
31, 2012, will be entered in a drawing for disaster supplies donated
by Gaylord Brothers.
Heritage Preservation will also offer its award-winning Field
html to access the sale, MayDay project ideas, prize drawing rules,
and the MayDay logo.
Activities hosted by Heritage Preservation for MayDay 2012
are sponsored by Rapid Refile, offering document recovery and
emergency planning services throughout the nation.
The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel Is
Now an App!
Heritage Preservation’s Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel is
now available free of charge on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
as the “ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage” app.
Long known as the authoritative resource for salvaging artifacts
after a disaster, the Wheel has been used by museums, libraries, and
archives around the world. This new app makes the Wheel’s invalu-
able guidance accessible to anyone who is in need of practical advice
for saving collections in the first 48 hours after disaster strikes.
Apple users can download this free app from the App Store.
Simply search for “ERS: Emergency Response and Salvage.” To
download, your device must run iOS 5.1 or later. Complete tech-
nical requirements are available on the ERS page at the App Store.
ERS provides the same reliable content found in the original
Wheel. The app outlines critical stages of disaster response and
provides practical salvage tips for nine types of collections, from
photographs to natural history specimens. ERS can help users
protect precious collections and significant records, access reliable
information instantly, and save damaged objects. The app was
created in partnership with the National Center for Preservation
Technology and Training (NCPTT).
The original slide-chart Wheel has been translated into more
than five languages and distributed internationally in more than
40 countries. Sponsored by BELFOR, it is still available for
purchase. Visit the Bookstore at www.heritagepreservation.org.
SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION PRACTICE
From November 2011 through March 2012, FEMA hosted
stakeholder events in all 10 FEMA regions to describe the
National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) and explain
how its principles and concepts could be used in communities.
Representatives from organizations affiliated with Heritage
Preservation, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, and
local cultural communities attended nearly all of these events,
ensuring continued representation in ongoing discussions.
The NDRF was released in September 2011. This frame-
work provides guidance for leadership and coordination among
different levels of government and various agencies following
a major disaster. Key to successful long-term disaster recovery
is involvement by the whole community, which includes
nonprofits and the private sector, along with local, state, tribal,
and federal governments. For the first time in a federal frame-
work, natural and cultural resources have an identified role in one
of six Recovery Support Function (RSF) Annexes to the NDRF.
The AIC Committee on Sustainable Conservation Practice
(CSCP) put out a survey to its members in Fall 2011, which
inquired how, or if, conservators are going green and working
sustainably by changing their work habits and adapting
their workplaces to reduce energy consumption. The survey
was a follow up to the 2008 AIC Green Task Force “Green
Conservation Practices” survey sent to AIC members and select
members of the American Association of Museums (AAM).
The 2011 survey included questions asked in the 2008 survey
to gauge how practices have changed as well as additional ques-
tions to help CSCP learn about new areas of interest. In total,
107 people or, about 3% of the AIC membership responded
to the survey. Although this is a low rate of response compared
to the 2008 survey (about 15%), we hope that it represents
nothing more than survey fatigue. The many new publications,
conferences, and online courses on sustainability in conservation
are clear indications that many conservators are interested in
the topic. The 2011 survey supports this observation as 81% of
respondents indicated that they try to reduce their carbon foot-
print and waste when designing conservation treatments.
To gather more detailed information on how conservators are
moving towards sustainable practices, we divided the
2011 survey into eight categories, which include
the headings below. We offer a brief summary of
key points here, as well as topics that the CSCP has
identified for future research. Complete results of
the survey can be found on our page on AIC’s wiki
Although only one-third of the survey participants
answered the series of questions related to envi-
ronmental parameters, just as many requested more
information on these topics. Changes in parameters
for temperature and relative humidity were cited as
solutions to save energy and money (figure 1). For
example, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
saved on energy costs by using HVAC shutdowns in
some of their buildings. A discussion of their experi-
ence will be included in the upcoming tips session
at the CSCP annual meeting luncheon.
Slightly more facilities changed environmental parameters
than utilized an alternative energy source (figure 2). However
many more reported modifying lighting systems for energy
savings. Although less than 10% of our respondents have worked
in a facility that changed parameters for temperature and rela-
tive humidity, the research supporting these initiatives and the
resultant cost savings will undoubtedly make it a growing trend
in the future.