International Relief for Haitian Cultural Heritage

From Heritage Emergency National Task Force Information on Major Disasters: "Initial reports about damage to cultural heritage in Haiti following the devastating January 12th earthquake are posted on the Web sites of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the International Council of Museums. The International Committee of the Blue Shield has launched an online registration form for volunteer heritage experts, and Libraries Without Borders is requesting donations of books in French for Haitian university libraries. An assessment team, sponsored by archives and library organizations in the Caribbean, is now in Haiti. Humanitarian relief continues to be the priority, and official recovery efforts from the U.S. are being coordinated through the United States Agency for International Development." [Read more]

April 11-16, 2010 – The Blue Shield International sent Danielle Mincio (IFLA) and Christophe Jacobs (ICA and ANCBS) to Port-au-Prince to work with Haitian colleagues. They arrived with information to the establishment of the Blue Shield Center for the treatment of damaged cultural heritage properties. They also completed assessments made previously to quantify the affected collections and various types of treatments that will be offered at the center.

Download the International Blue Shield's Mission to Haiti Report [1.5 MB].

March 16, 2010 – Smithsonian Delegation to Haiti Report, March 6-8, 2010. Prepared by Corine Wegener, U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield.

February 19, 2010 – SAA has received updates from several sources on international efforts to provide relief for Haitian cultural heritage.

According to a February 17 press release, UNESCO laid the foundation for an International Coordination Committee (ICC) for Haitian culture at a February 16 meeting in Paris, chaired by Haitian Minister of Culture and Communication Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said, "Our goal is to define the most effective means that will allow UNESCO to help prepare and implement a comprehensive programme for the benefit of Haitian culture, by drawing on the vast capacities of your country’s cultural community, which has already mobilized its efforts, and by calling on internationally renowned experts." According to the press release, "The Committee, which will be similar to those established by UNESCO for Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq, will be officially created once it receives final approval from UNESCO’s Executive Board at its next session (30 March – 15 April)."

The International Council on Archives released a "Statement on Haiti Needs" (including a "Statement on Requirements") on February 11. Read it here.

SAA Past President Maygene Daniels attended a February 5 meeting of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield to learn about relief efforts. This coalition of cultural property organizations (including SAA) is standing ready to assist UNESCO and/or other efforts approved by the Haitian Ministry of Culture when requested.

February 4, 2010 - SAA Council members discussed SAA's response to the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. Gottlieb reported that SAA Past President Maygene Daniels would be representing SAA at a meeting of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, along with other concerned organizations, on February 5, 2010, in Washington. SAA committed to becoming a conduit of information for members regarding relief efforts and opportunities to assist in the recovery of Haitian cultural heritage.

American Association of Museums has issued a statement.

American Library Association is requesting book donations and has set up an earthquake relief fund. [More here]

International Federation of Library Associations is tracking libraries status and damage at and encouring folks to get ready to help respond.

International Council of Museums is requesting sign-ups for salvage work and has issued a statement at:

International Committee of the Blue Shield has launched an online registration form for volunteer archivists, restorers, curators, librarians, architects, and other experts. This registration will help ICBS link official missions to Haiti with appropriate experts.

Library of Congress linked their online earthquake salvage information to their homepage immediately after the earthquake, sent out an RSS feed on where to find information for salvage of collections following an earthquake, and arranged for US Blue Shield Representative Nancy Gwinn to speak at the FLICC Safety Net meeting on 2/23 in hopes that they could help scrounge volunteers for salvage work in Haiti.

Libraries Without Borders requested donations of books in French for Haitian university libraries.

National Library of the Dominican Republic, along with some other archives and library organizations in the Caribbean, sent an assessment team to Haiti with a report due back in a week. HP will likely track and share it.

United Nations efforts in Haiti are described at

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) attempts to provide assistance are summarized at: Their fact sheet is here and a good summary of post disaster response activities is here.

U.S. Agency for International Development is coordinating U.S. official relief efforts and a Haiti Earthquake fact sheet.

Additional humanitarian relief info is at: