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Recovery of Family Collections After Fire or Water Damage

Personal safety comes first, but if you have family mementos or sentimental items that were damaged by fire or water, please see the resources listed below or call NEDCC’s 24/7 Collections Emergency Hotline for immediate phone advice.


1. NEDCC 24/7 Collections Emergency Hotline: 1-855-245-8303

2. Fact sheets from the Heritage Emergency National Task Force:

After the Fire: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures

Salvaging Water-Damaged Family Valuables and Heirlooms. This fact sheet is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

3. Resources from the American Institute for Conservation:

How to Handle and Clean Soot-Damaged Items – 7-minute video

Find a Conservator – online directory of professional conservators in your area. See also the How to Choose a Conservator guide that explains how to work with a professional conservator.

4. Additional resources:

Salvaging CDs and DVDs

Salvaging VHS tapes and other magnetic media

NEDCC, 100 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810-1494 • 978-470-1010 • nedcc.org

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© 2018 Northeast Document Conservation Center
100 Brickstone Square, Andover, MA 01810