Kentucky Museum News
Guidance for Salvaging Treasured Objects and Historic Homes
- Tiffany Isselhardt
- Tuesday, December 14th, 2021
The Kentucky Museum sends our thoughts and well wishes to those affected by the tornadoes and recent storms in Bowling Green and surrounding communities. As recovery efforts continue, we hope the following information will be useful in salvaging cherished photographs, letters, heirlooms, and other irreplaceable objects.
First, protect yourself and your loved ones if returning to a storm damaged home. See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Returning Home After a Disaster: Be Healthy and Safe for safety tips that include cleaning your home and stopping mold, protecting yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, keeping drinking water and food safe, and preventing electrical injuries.
How to handle, dry, and clean damaged objects and photographs:
Galveston Historical Foundation's "Flooded & Wet" YouTube video series guides you through the proper procedure for recovering furniture, textiles, and photos damaged by natural disasters. Notable videos include:
Saving Your Family Treasures Facebook Live Workshop. A recording of a live demonstration by our experts on how to handle, dry, and clean damaged personal keepsakes, using materials available at local hardware and convenience stores. (Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative)
Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms. Tips and resources for individuals and institutions. Also available in Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Portuguese. (Heritage Emergency National Task Force)
A 10-minute video, “Water Segment from the Field Guide to Emergency Response,” demonstrates how to rescue soaked photographs, books, documents, and other valued items. (Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation)
First Aid for Water Damage to Film and Tape. This webpage contains some simple steps that you can take to salvage and stabilise your audiovisual objects (magnetic tape, vinyl records, and optical discs). (National Film and Sound Archive of Australia)
For Historic Property Owners: Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings was written to help building owners minimize structural and cosmetic flood damage in a wide variety of buildings with varying degrees of flood damage (National Trust for Historic Preservation). For additional information, please consult guidance from the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative.
For those seeking conservation services for objects, please utilize the American Institute for Conservation's Find a Conservator. If a valuable or important item is badly damaged or has been exposed to contaminated water, a professional conservator may be able to help salvage it. Identify and locate professional conservation services using this tool.