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When considering disaster mitigation practices and disaster resilience within the university context, naturally and logically the first consideration is for the protection and safety of university community members – students, faculty and staff. While this focus is of primary importance and value, a secondary area of concern is often overlooked – the collections of documents, records, objects and artifacts that are of vital importance to the ongoing function of the university itself.

This session will consider important steps that can be taken to address disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery within university collections by examining the case study of the University of Delaware’s Emergency Response Working Group (ERWG). Comprised of collection managers from throughout the University and representatives from key support units, ERWG seeks to coordinate emergency preparedness, planning, response operations, and recovery activities among administrative and academic units that manage collections of objects and records of importance and value to the University of Delaware. In existence for approximately five years, ERWG has undertaken an aggressive agenda to provide members with the skills and resources needed to ensure the greatest level of success in mitigating the potential impact of disaster events. The organization has also established a framework and structure that enable prompt response to disaster situations, enabling member units to realize the greatest level of resilience following disaster events. This session will examine the structure and practices of ERWG that make it a model for other universities in their endeavors to address disaster mitigation in collections.

Young_What about Collections.pdf (196 kB)
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