Emergency advice

COVID-19 and recommendations for heritage institutions

Cultural heritage institutions are coping with many challenges as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. While collections are not directly at risk, the pandemic complicates their care. A new resource, Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID-19 Pandemic, was developed by an ad-hoc task force at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) to help staff from heritage institutions ensure that collections and heritage materials remain safe. This resource is based on the questions received from collections professionals in various countries and types of institutions.

The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) offers emergency advice to Canada's heritage community in the aftermath of a fire, flood, earthquake or other catastrophes. For individuals, CCI offers a list of resources containing information on salvaging personal valuables.

For advice from CCI, members of the Canadian heritage community can call 1-866-998-3721 day or night and press 0 for Security.

Inform the operator that you have an emergency to ensure your call is given top priority. During normal working hours your call will be passed immediately to someone who can assist you. During non-working hours, the operator will request the following details from you:

  • your name, institution, location, and your telephone number;
  • the nature of the collection affected;
  • the type, extent, and severity of damage; and
  • what action, if any, has been taken so far.

This information will be conveyed to a CCI staff member, and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

If onsite conservation assistance is required, institutions are encouraged to first contact the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators. This association has a list of local conservators that will be able to respond more quickly and will also be more familiar with local resources. However, in the event that local expertise is not available, CCI may provide onsite conservation services.

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