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Disaster Struck: Smithsonian Museum Support Center Earthquake Response and Recovery

Author(s): David Rosenthal ; Kerry Button

Year: 2017

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On August 23, 2011, an earthquake centered in Louisa County, Virginia affected the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. Measured at a magnitude of 5.8, this was the strongest quake in the area since 1944, reaching as many as 12 states and felt as far away as Canada. The quake caused damage to a number of national landmarks including the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral, and several Smithsonian buildings. The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center (MSC) in Suitland, MD, home to over 43 percent of the Smithsonian’s 155 million objects and specimens, was severely impacted. This presentation will discuss the immediate response period at the MSC, longer term recovery efforts, and lessons learned to help mitigate future impacts, with particular attention paid to the collections housed and cared for by the Department of Anthropology.

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Disaster Struck: Smithsonian Museum Support Center Earthquake Response and Recovery. David Rosenthal, Kerry Button. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431102)



Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16119

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America