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The Vermont Cultural Heritage and Art Recovery Team (VCHART) is hosted by the Vermont Historical Society in Barre, Vermont. Its members include curators, conservators, librarians, archivists, municipal clerks, and emergency responders. The team is an outgrowth of the Vermont Alliance for Response symposium held in Woodstock, Vermont, in 2009 that brought together staff from interested cultural institutions and first responders to discuss the need for collaboration and preplanning prior to emergency situations. The Vermont Alliance for Response is part of a Heritage Emergency National Task Force sponsored by Heritage Preservation and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Currently, VCHART is acting as an information gathering and sharing resource and is working with the Vermont Preservation Trust, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Vermont State Archives and Public Records, Vermont Historical Society, Vermont Department of Libraries, and Vermont Emergency Management, as well as feeding information to AIC-CERT, the rapid response team for the American Institute for Conservation located in Washington, DC. So far, an AIC-CERT member along with State Librarian Martha Reid visited the compromised West Hartford library. They carried out a damage assessment and offered helpful suggestions for salvage methods. Ann Cousins from the Preservation Trust of Vermont has also visited numerous communities to help assess damage to historic buildings.
Preliminary reports from cultural institutions indicate that there has been some damage but conditions have been such that local volunteers and staff have been able to address the situations. A notable exception is the State complex in Waterbury, which was hit hard. Staff from the State Archives and Public Records Division are working on salvage efforts there as well as monitoring the conditions of municipal offices around the state.
If you know of a cultural institution that has been damaged or needs information on salvage methods, please contact Jackie Calder, VHS Curator and VCHART coordinator, at 802-479-8514 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lisa Evans, VHS League of Local Historical Societies and Museum Program Coordinator at 802-8522 or email@example.com.