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Learning from Katrina: Conservators' First-Person Accounts of Response and Recovery; Suggestions for Best Practice



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After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005, several organized groups sent conservators to help assess the damage created at many cultural institutions. Several federal agencies sent employees to evaluate federal sites, and training programs sent staff and students to help where needed. The American Association for State and Local History arranged to send two mobile units to assess the conditions of the states’ collecting institutions.  Staffed by museum professionals and conservation volunteers, the mobile units, under the auspices of the Heritage Emergency Assistance Recovery Teams (HEART) Assessment Program assessed as many cultural institutions as possible.  The program, generously funded by the Watson-Brown Foundation of Thomson, Georgia, and the History Channel provided valuable on-site assistance and helped local staff to cope with beginning a recovery of their collections. 

On April 20 and 21, 2006 the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, in collaboration with FLICC and the American Folklife Center interviewed ten of the volunteers in “Capturing Katrina:  Collections-Recovery Experiences: Oral Histories of the First Preservers.” The interviews with the recovery volunteers are now available through this website. 

Gary Frost and Randy Silverman (HEART) [time: 2:07]

Susan Duhl and Jill Sterrett (HEART) [time: 1:26]

Kathy Ludwig and Hilary Kaplan (Federal Employees) [time: 1:25]

Karen Pavelka (Training Program) [time: 1:28]

Theresa Voellinger (Federal Employee) [time: 1:09]

Barbara Moore (HEART) [time: 1:26]

Lois Price (Training Program) [time: 1:12]



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