Disaster preparedness is necessary for cultural institutions. When the waters rise, or the fire breaks out, does your museum know what to save first? Who to call for conservation help? May 1 is the international day of cultural heritage disaster preparedness awareness (I’m sure someone has developed a catchier title), and this year it coincided with the enormous floods we’ve seen affecting our friends and colleagues in Tennessee. I thought I would share some disaster resources and do a roundup of reports on the health of Tennessee museums and archives after the flood.
Disaster Resources for the LAMs
SAA has a nice list of ideas for small tasks to do to increase your institution’s disaster preparedness.
AAM has compiled a document, Emergency Flood Recovery Resources for Museums (pdf)
Heritage Preservation + FEMA = Heritage Emergency National Taskforce
Tennessee Museums News Roundup
Our colleague Gordon Belt of the Posterity Project lives in middle Tennessee and has been reporting on the flooding. I am glad to hear that he and his family are okay. He also reported that the Tennessee State Library and Archives avoided damage. I’m going to quote this list he posted of affected heritage landmarks:
This list of major heritage landmarks in Tennessee damaged by the storm and flooding comes courtesy of Dr. Carroll Van West, Director of the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University…
Grand Ole Opry House (1974), Nashville. Brenda Colladay will let us know next week if and how many volunteers may be needed to work with the collections.
2nd Avenue North and Lower Broadway Historic Districts, Nashville
Riverside Park, Clarksville
Historic Town Square, Lebanon
Dyersburg downtown historic district, Dyer County. Downtown Dyersburg is really being hit today with the rising water from the Forked Deer River.
Bemis Historic District (the old mill town), Jackson
Millington Naval Air Station, Shelby County
Bethesda Presbyterian church and cemetery, Purdy, McNairy County (tornado)
Hartsville historic district, Trousdale County
Kingston Springs and Ashland City, Cheatham County
The following are more open landscapes that have been impacted:
Mound Bottom/narrows of the Harpeth State Park
Bicentennial Mall State Park
Springhouse, Carnton Plantation, Franklin
The Hermitage grounds and cemetery
Old City Cemetery, Nashville
Historic cemeteries, Franklin
Nashville Greenway system (especially Shelby Park)
Germantown greenway (contains Fort Germantown), Shelby County
Pinkerton Park (Fort Granger), Franklin
An interview with Kyle Young, director of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Their collections were not affected (exhibits and storage are on upper floors), but their building was severely flooded.
A disaster recovery post from a Tennessee archivist.
A flood resource page from the Nashville Public Library. Always nice to see the library as a key community space in a disaster.
I would be happy to update this post with information from other cultural institutions or ways to help.