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Emergency Preparedness and Response

How to Safely Stabilize, Salvage, and Recover Collections in a Water Emergency

Color photograph of the National Library of Medicine's main reading room featuring several wooden study carrels with reference materials on shelves. A large portion of the floor is covered in water. The chairs have been moved behind absorbent tubing on the floor used to wick up the water.

In the event of an emergency or disaster, every library and cultural heritage institution should have a written plan in place to protect valuable collections.

This multimedia emergency response website contains explanatory text and video clips that will demonstrate salvage and recovery procedures for historic and general collection materials affected by water.


The information in this website is provided for educational purposes and intended only to convey best practices as they are currently known by NLM. NLM cannot be responsible for the success or failure of any technique or practice described or recommended in the website, and therefore expressly disclaims any liability.

About the Project