The National Heritage Responders (NHR) began in part as a reaction to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which struck New Orleans in the summer of 2005. Conservators possessed the much-needed expertise to save collections, but lacked the administrative structure to coordinate the distribution of those skills.
In 2007, FAIC received funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to develop a series of advanced workshops to train conservators and other library and museum professionals. These dynamic and highly successful workshops produced a group of 61 ”rapid responders” who are trained to react to disasters.
In 2011, 43 additional NHR members were trained with support again from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, bringing the total number of volunteers to 107. The expanded group provided better geographic coverage and a wider set of skills in responding to collections.
The program has since developed into a cohesive volunteer group of strongly committed conservators and other collections care professionals who monitor disasters as they occur across the nation and respond accordingly.
Learn more about NHR responses to past emergencies.