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Preparing Cultural Heritage Institutions for Emergencies

Most small collecting institutions like libraries and archives lack professional preservation staff, a major barrier to caring for collections and preparing disaster plans for them—and a 2004 report from the Institute for Museum and Library Services indicated that 80% of American collecting institutions lacked any kind of emergency plan for their collections. In response to this report, the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Services (WESTPAS) offered preservation and disaster planning workshops to libraries, museums, and cultural heritage organizations in ten states and three territories in the Western and Pacific regions of the United States. Through NEH-funded workshops and internet- and telephone-based information services, WESTPAS provided preservation and stewardship training to those responsible for protecting significant portions of our cultural heritage.

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