Episode 56: Disaster Preparedness For the Family Photo Archive

As I watch the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian, I’m worrying about the next disaster. 

My mind is thinking about When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States in 2012. It was not the powerhouse storm that Dorian is, but the effects were felt all the way into New England.

On the New Jersey shore near Union Beach, family photographs started washing up on the beach. One woman took action and tried to rescue as many as possible by partnering with the public library, enlisting the aid of conservation professionals and relying on volunteer time and donations of scanners and other supplies. I reached out to see what I could do.

The amazing thing about that project was that Jeannette was able to reunite many photographs with family, but there were also a large number that went unclaimed. 

I’m not sure that having a disaster plan could help a community literally blown and washed away by a storm, but museums, libraries and archives have them.

By taking steps now we know what to do afterwards and we’ll have the resources we’ll need.   

This special podcast focuses on disaster preparedness for a family photo archive. Download my Disaster Preparedness Checklist here.


About Maureen Taylor:

Maureen is a frequent keynote speaker on photo identification, photograph preservation, and family history at historical and genealogical societies, museums, conferences, libraries, and other organizations across the U.S., London and Canada.  She’s the author of several books and hundreds of articles and her television appearances include The View and The Today Show (where she researched and presented a complete family tree for host Meredith Vieira).  She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel, American Spirit, and The New York Times. Maureen was recently a spokesperson and photograph expert for MyHeritage.com, an internationally known family history website and also writes guidebooks, scholarly articles and online columns for such media as Smithsonian.com. Learn more at Maureentaylor.com

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