Salvage and Recovery

When institutions first consider developing emergency plans, the salvage and recovery of objects that are damaged by disasters is a primary focus. The salvage and recovery techniques used on various types of objects including, but not limited to, archival items (books, paper, photographs, electronic media, paintings) and other artifacts (inorganics, wood/furniture, textiles, and natural history collections) all aim to slow the process of deterioriation various objects will undergo when they have been damaged. Techniques to be discussed in this module should be considered first response actions that will slow the process of deterioration. Trained conservators or salvage companies will need to then be involved in the long-term salvage, recovery, and preservation of the object. 


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Practical Activity

Salvage and Recovery-A separate worksheet has been developed for this activity. 

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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum - Artifact Salvage & Recovery Sample (.pdf)

Florida State University Libraries - Artifact Salvage & Recovery Sample (.pdf)

University of Miami Libraries - Artifact Salvage & Recovery Sample (.pdf)

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Online Resources
American Institute for Conservation (AIC), Disaster Response & Recovery National Heritage Responders

National Park Service, Conserv-O-Gram
Salvage of Water-Damaged Collections:  Salvage at a Glance (2002)
Salvage at a Glance,Part I:  Paper Based Collections (2002)
Salvage at a Glance,Part II:  Non-Paper Based Archival Collections (2002)
Salvage at a Glance, Part III: Object Collections (2002)
Salvage at a Glance, Part IV: Natural History Collections (2003)
Salvage at a Glance, Part V: Textiles (2003)

Northeast Document Conservation Center, Preservation Leaflets
Emergency Salvage of Wet Books and Records
Freezing and Drying Wet Books and Records
Emergency Salvage of Wet Photographs
Emergency Salvage of Moldy Books and Paper

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