Smithsonian's role in cultural heritage disasters

Author(s): Corine Wegener

Year: 2015


The environment for cultural heritage disaster management has grown increasingly complex; destruction of heritage during ethnic and sectarian violence is on the rise and global climate change threatens to increase extreme weather events. Few organizations are positions to help our colleagues with disaster response and recovery efforts. The Smithsonian Institution proposes to establish the Cultural Crisis Recovery Center (CCRC), an operational organization to provide emergency response for cultural heritage disasters along with a multidisciplinary approach to training, scholarly research, and long-term preservation strategies. The Smithsonian CCRC will help reduce the risk of permanent loss of humanity’s cultural heritage by: 1) serving as a principal resource for endangered cultural heritage information, research and policy; 2) educating and training public, private, and non-profit professionals and volunteers to prepare for and respond to cultural crises; 3) developing and deploying professionally-trained disaster response teams that can execute independent or coordinated efforts both at in the U.S. and internationally; and 4) keeping recovery efforts at the forefront by advising partners on long-term strategies, undertaking specific preservation projects, and offering training on special exhibitions and programs.

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Cite this Record

Smithsonian's role in cultural heritage disasters. Corine Wegener. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397267)