[Preservenw] Situation of Libraries in Haiti
menges at u.washington.edu
Thu Jan 21 10:45:02 PST 2010
The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield has asked if AIC-CERT might be able
to assist, if needed, in Haiti. (AIC-CERT is The American Institute for
Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works Collections Emergency Response
Team.) "The mission of AIC-CERT is to respond to the needs of cultural
institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts
with first responders, state agencies, vendors and the public." At this
point the primary concern is for the people of Haiti. What follows is from
Here is a brief point on the situation in Haiti.
We have a contact with Patrick Tardieu who is an archivist in the oldest
library in Port au Prince, Bibliothque des Pres du Saint Esprit.
Fortunately, he's alive and flighted yesterday to Canada. The first
information we have are:
- Saint Martial College in which there is the Bibliothque Hatienne des
pres du saint esprit collapsed
- The St Louis de Gonzague library building would be ok but very weakened
- The national Library collapsed, at least a part of it
- Most of the university libraries collapsed too
Those libraries gathered very old collections (from the 16th centuries).
Several manuscripts were brought by the missionaries who came from Europe.
Other have been collected in the Caraibs (notably, publications on the
haitian revolutions, transcriptions of vaudou oral traditions, personal
documents from the 18th centuries).
We think it's urgent to run an international campaign for saving these
collections, at least in France, the US and Canada. We have to create a
dedicated funds to launch the campaign and raise money. In our side, we are
already in contact with the French IFLA comittee (International Federation
of Library Association), the Foreign Affairs (through its agency
CulturesFrance) and the culture ministry. In the US we will work with
professor Laurent Dubois, Duke University, who has a good knowledge of these
collections and is ready to rally the archivists and the historians
community. Patrick Tardieu, who is in Canada now will help us too, to have a
better knowledge of the situation.
We have to prepare, for next week to :
1/ Open a dedicated fundraising paypal account at least in the US and France
for the operation (not only focused on the emergency of saving these
collections but also on the effort of rebuilding in the next monthes)
2. Work with organizations such as IFLA, UNESCO and the FOKAL Foundation
(its director, Elizabeth Pierre Louis, who we well know is
still missing for the moment) in order to avoid the redundancies.
3/ Prepare to form a team of curator, archivists, historians and logistics
coordinators who would be ready to go there in the next weeks or months.
For the moment we have good contacts in Guadeloupe. We might need to find
places in Canada and in the US. People are mobilizing there and could
prepare rapidly to host the collections for a while. Patrick Tardieu told me
that we maybe could host them in other places in haiti if the roads are ok.
We'll check up on this point next week. Our principal ennemy will be the
rain from now. The collections could be destroyed forever. Most of these
pieces are unique.
We'll have more info hopefully next week on the collections and the
situation there. Don't hesitate to share the news you'd have.
Thank you for your mobilization. I'll be reachable during the week end on
my cell phone : +188.8.131.52.36.84. BSF sent a first communique today in
memory of Mamadou Bah, a good friend of us, who worked at the UN in Port
You'll find it at this adress: http://mim.io/15f12?fe=1
We have no news from Nixon Calixte who was coordinating the UNiversity
Libraries net work in Haiti Best
Directeur - BSF
jeremy.lachal at bibliosansfrontieres.org
+33.(0)184.108.40.206.56 - +33.(0)220.127.116.11.61
Bibliotheques Sans Frontieres
69 rue Armand Carrel, 75019 Paris
Rejoignez la cause BSF sur facebook: www.causes.com/bibliosansfrontieres
Vous aussi, soutenez Bibliotheques Sans Frontieres gratuitement a chacun
de vos achats sur Internet: www.doneo.org
African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration
Africana Collections and Services
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61820
akagan at illinois.edu
Curator for Latin American,
Mexican American & Iberian Collections
Green Library-557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
(650) 723-3150 / 725-1068 (fax)
adan.griego at stanford.edu
Karen L. Pavelka
The School of Information
The University of Texas at Austin
1616 Guadalupe, D8600
Austin, TX 78701-1213
email: pavelka at ischool.utexas.edu
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