Crisis Collecting Assistance Team (CCAT)

When facing a tragedy in one’s own community, archivists carry the unique burden of suddenly and  swiftly needing to process both their grief and the physical materials to document the event at the same  time. The SAA Crisis Collecting Assistance Team (CCAT) stands ready to help archives workers, archival and cultural heritage institutions, and community members documenting or experiencing a crisis, disaster, or tragedy in their community or the community they serve.  

The CCAT response team offers remote assistance with identifying best practices or logistics for  documentation, referrals to appropriate allied organizations, and general guidance on crisis collecting. CCAT volunteers include expert archivists who have all faced similar situations in leading and supporting  their staff through processing and documenting tragedies great and small. 

Send a message via the form below to request help; a member will respond by phone or email within 72 business hours. 


In addition to direct support from CCAT, resources for individuals and organizations documenting a crisis  in their communities are provided in Documenting in Times of Crisis: A Resource Kit. The templates are  designed to be a starting point to customize for local use in consultation with communities,  administrators, and legal counsel as necessary. 

Resources and support related to disaster response and recovery pertaining to physical damage to  collections or facilities are outside the scope of CCAT and CDTRWG. For resources and  recommendations regarding damage sustained as a result of floods, fires, natural disasters, or other  emergencies, we recommend consulting SAA’s Disaster Response and  Recovery Resources, and/or contacting organizations such as the National Heritage Responders

Any and all assistance is  based on CCAT members’ personal experience and/or network of professional assistance organizations. 

The Crisis Collecting Assistance Team is organized by the SAA Crisis, Disaster, and Tragedy Response Working Group (CDTRWG)

Disclaimer: The Society of American Archivists and its Crisis Collecting Assistance Team will not be  responsible for damage to your collection should damage result from the use of information provided by  the Team, on the SAA website, or by other organizations to which SAA and CCAT refer. CCAT members  are not mental health professionals and cannot provide mental health services.