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Monday, May 16 • 4:45pm - 5:30pm
(General Session: Lead by Example - Models to Follow) Emergency Care for the Nation’s Records

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We are a nation that believes in the power of information, expects transparency and wants what we need to be available now. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is charged with preserving the nation’s records, and has a unique mission and role in addressing emergencies that can cause loss and destruction of the records of the nation – from the sublime to the ridiculous. The foundation of this belief and expectation is the preservation of records; records of the government, or our institutions and communities and of our personal lives. The post-Katrina images of citizens seeking options to establish their identities highlighted the key role that records play for each of us and in society. With 44 facilities of varying age across the US, the National Archives has extensive experience with records emergencies. The National Archives’ approach to emergencies - risk assessment and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery options and costs – can be viewed as an integrated system. The system is scalable from the large to smallest institution. NARA works both at the agency and individual facility levels. The impact of the disastrous 1973 fire at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis continues to this day. Since then NARA has continued to change facility standards in order to minimize risk; risk mitigation is an ongoing process. Also, critically important, we have built an emergency preparedness planning network that includes the Federal Records Centers, Field Archives and Presidential Libraries in 17 states. The goal is to minimize the number of emergencies, and the chance of those emergencies becoming disasters. Emergency preparedness planning includes staff and facility plans at all facilities; we ensure that preservation expertise is available 24/7 through our Conservator-on-Call team. We provide training for staff. The National Archives and Records Administration addresses emergency preparedness and recovery of records with the specific requirements of security classification, maintaining specific order and organization of the records and ensuring the integrity of the information. Recovery of records has a particular trajectory that depends on planning well in advance of any event, quick and informed action and collaborative decision-making in the face of a large volume of typically unique information on a range of formats. NARA shares its information about the specific requirements for the recovery of records through the contracting vehicle we have prepared for securing vendor services when needed. The National Archives serves as a resource for advice and guidance to federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments and the private sector on response and recovery for records. We maintain an External Records Emergency Committee to facilitate communication and networking. In the event of a presidentially declared emergency in the US, under the National Response Framework, the National Archives may be tasked with leading response efforts pertaining to records. This capacity is overseen through the Essential Support Function #11 – managed by the Department of the Interior.

avatar for Doris Hamburg

Doris Hamburg

Director of Preservation Programs, National Archives and Records Administration
Nancie received her MS in art conservation from the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum program. Following fellowships and contract positions at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Gallery, Washington, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, she became associate objects conservator... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 4:45pm - 5:30pm EDT
Room 516 CD