Joint Statement on Hurricane Relief

Issued by the Boards of the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) , the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), the Society of American Archivists (SAA), the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), and the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA)

September 2, 2005

Members of COSA, NAGARA, SAA, COSLA, and ACA are overwhelmed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As archivists we are, of course, concerned about the collections. But first and foremost, we are concerned for our friends and colleagues, as we are for all the people whose lives have been affected.

It is difficult to comprehend the scale of the damage. How can anyone plan for a disaster that completely destroys the surrounding infrastructure? Those of us in the rest of the country cannot know how to respond. Without reliable communications, we don't know what's needed. But we know that people need food, water, and shelter immediately.

The Boards of COSA, NARAGA, SAA, COSLA, and ACA are encouraging their members to support all those whose lives have been affected by Katrina by making a contribution to the charity of their choice. For a list of charities, see the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at Many of these charities already have people on the scene and have the experience to distribute help where it's needed most.

In the future, we hope to learn more about specific ways we can help our colleagues care for their collections. We will keep you informed.

Members who would like to be added to a hurricane-response volunteer list for future efforts may submit their names using a form on the SAA website. We will make this list available to archival institutions so that they can contact volunteers directly. At this time, it is impossible to predict when, or if, volunteers might be contacted for help.