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Ask a Conservator: Emergency Management
Cultural heritage is not renewable. If books, documents, pieces of art, or any other ephemera are destroyed in a fire, for example, they are likely lost forever. Librarians and archivists have a long history of responding to and preparing for the kinds of emergencies and disasters, both natural and human-inflicted, that threaten these important resources for economic development and tourism, as well as knowledge, creativity, and a sense of historically connected identity.

In our next "Ask a Conservator" program, Nora Lockshin, senior conservator, and Katie Wagner, senior book conservator, will share how they plan for and respond to potential emergency situations that could pose risks to the safety of our precious collections at the Smithsonian and those of our fellow cultural institutions around the country. They’ll also discuss how they are called on to assist with protecting and recovering cultural heritage around the world. And as always, there will be plenty of time for your questions!

Jun 23, 2021 05:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Nora Lockshin
Senior Conservator, Smithsonian Institution Archives @Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Nora S. Lockshin, senior conservator for the Smithsonian Institution Archives, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, leads conservation and preservation programs, providing treatment, guidance, research, training and advocacy, and consultation for collections throughout the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, and the National Zoo. She serves on the Smithsonian’s Preparedness and Response in Collections Emergency team, the Smithsonian Emergency Management Advisory Committee, and on the steering committee for the DC Alliance for Response. She has developed trainings and worked on the ground in emergency recovery efforts with the Smithsonian’s Cultural Rescue Initiative and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, with cultural heritage stewards in Haiti, the Southeastern United States, and Puerto Rico. She has taught federal agents and serves as a subject matter expert about analytical investigation and repatriation of stolen property.
Katie Wagner
Senior Book Conservator @Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Katie Wagner is senior book conservator with the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. Her work focuses on conservation treatments, emergency management for the Libraries and Archives and for the greater Smithsonian, and research into the area of leather degradation. She serves as the head of the Libraries and Archives Adopt-a-Book Working Group, on the Smithsonian's Preparedness and Response in Collections Emergencies team, on the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee, and on the DC Alliance for Response Committee. She is former co-chair of The American Institute for Conservation Emergency Committee. She has represented the Smithsonian on disaster response outreach trips organized by FEMA, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, and the U.S. State Department to Haiti, Peru, The Bahamas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.