My Dad always has the hookup. Read below…
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2005 09:38:43 -0500
From: “Vergil E. Noble”
Subject: HISTORY/ARCHIVES COMMUNITY RALLY TO ASSIST IN KATRINA AFTERMATH
FYI: a snip from today’s National Coalition for History e-newsletter that relates to this past week’s discussion on the Gulf area. Note particularly the grants programs and recovery funds that are being established by several major agencies and organizations.
NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 11, #34; 9 SEPTEMBER 2005)
by Bruce Craig (editor) firstname.lastname@example.org with Nathaniel Kulyk
NATIONAL COALITION FOR HISTORY (NCH)
Website at http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~nch
1. HISTORY/ARCHIVES COMMUNITY RALLY TO ASSIST IN KATRINA AFTERMATH
As emergency officials continue to find and rescue survivors, recoverbodies, and clean up the wreckage from Hurricane Katrina, which devastated a significant portion of the Gulf Coast nearly two weeks ago, efforts are also underway by various history and archival organizations to pitch in and begin to survey the damage done to sites of historical significance and to preserve as much as possible. This rescue and salvage effort takes on special importance in a part of the country that is especially rich with historic sites, artifacts, and archives.
In New Orleans, aerial photos indicate that the French Quarter is relatively dry and intact. Locations such as the Cafe du Monde, Preservation Hall, and St. Louis Cathedral appear to have survived the brunt of the storm. Museum directors have also determined that the New Orleans Museum of Art, home to one of the most important collections in the south, has also been spared from severe damage. However, other sections of the city were not so fortunate. Virtually everything in the Latin Quarter and the Garden District suffered some damage. Preliminary reports indicate that the New Orleans Public Library was hit hard and its archive of city records, which are housed in the basement of the building, probably experienced flooding. At the New Orleans Notarial Archives, which hold some 40 million pages of signed acts compiled by notaries of new Orleans over three centuries, initial efforts to save historical documents were unsuccessful. A Swedish document salvage firm, hired by the archives to freeze-dry records to remove the moisture from them, was turned away by uniformed personnel as they attempted to enter the city. There are a considerable number of freezer trucks available as soon as they are allowed to access areas currently closed. In the case of both the public library and the notarial archives, time is of the essence as humidity, mold, and water damage may decimate thes collections in a matter of days.
Many of the city’s oldest historic neighborhoods were completely lost to the floods. The U.S. Mint, which was once captured by the Confederate Army, is missing part of its roof, while uncertainty remains about the artifacts inside.
Katrina has affected other important historic sites in Louisiana as well. Fort Jackson, located south of New Orleans, location of an important Civil War naval battle, has suffered extensive flooding. In addition, the Louisiana State Museum suffered moderate to extensive damage.
In Mississippi, the Old Capitol Museum had a third of its copper roof blown off, resulting in the flooding of a storage room and exhibit area. Beauvoir, the home of Jefferson Davis, located in Biloxi, was virtually destroyed. Throughout the ravished parts of the Gulf Coast, numerous trees and old houses have been lost, in many cases with no hope of recovery. Many unanswered questions remain as to the condition of historical artifacts that were in private hands, or the condition of other archival collections that may have survived the floodwaters.
As the recovery efforts continue, historical preservation teams will begin the long process of retrieving documents, photographs, and other important pieces of history that have helped to shape a nation. What follows is a summary of the emergency recovery and assistance efforts we know about.
An emergency team from the National Park Service Museum Resource Center will soon be arriving in New Orleans to begin its preservation work, salvaging every artifact they possibly can and protecting them from mildew. They will be concentrating specifically on artifacts located at the Jazz Museum, the Louis Armstrong home, the archives at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, and the Chalmette battlefield. The National Park Service has also assembled a technical leaflet entitled After the Flood: Emergency Stabilization and Conservation Methods, which offers suggestions on how to prevent additional damage and how to maintain historical integrity: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/nps/npsafter.html .
The Heritage Emergency Task Force is also stepping in to assist in the recovery. This task force was created for the purpose of assisting cultural heritage institutions in the protection of their collections in the event of natural disasters. Co-sponsored by Heritage Preservation, Inc. and the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), it includes over 30 federal agencies. At the present time, the task force is working to coordinate information with the various historical institutions along the Gulf Coast and are encouraging everyone to donate money to the Disaster Relief Fund, as health and safety remain the highest priorities<<<<<<<<<<<