CARBICA, the Caribbean Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Carbica Conservator To Assist Dominica & BVI With Post-Hurricane Rehabilitation Efforts

As part of CARBICA’S on-going response to the ruin inflicted by the two ferocious hurricanes of 2017, members will be aware that, in collaboration with the ICA, CARBICA established a First Aid Fund to assist those archives most directly affected by the storms. Upon application, several awards were made from the Fund in February 2018 including St. Martin; Dominica and the British Virgin Islands. Stemming from this initiative, the EC determined that further benefit would be gained by direct on-the-ground conservation support at the affected islands. In this case, both Dominica and the British Virgin Islands welcomed the proposal.

As a result, on Monday 9th April, Mrs. Valerie Martens-Monier, Head of Conservation at the Curacao National Archives travelled to Dominica and on to British Virgin Islands for a two week visit to assist with the on-going recovery of archival, library and museum collections at the two islands.  Representing the Caribbean Archives Association (CARBICA), Mrs. Martens-Monier will carry out a survey of damage to buildings and collections; meet with collection caretakers and make recommendations about the on-going stabilization of damaged collections.

It is planned that Mrs. Martens-Monier will hold a roundtable for staff in Government registries to field questions about salvage and recovery of Government records. She will also meet with members of the National Emergency Organisation to discuss ways that cultural assets may be included in national and regional disaster plans going forward.

Mrs. Martens-Monier's visit is funded by grants from the Caribbean Archives Association (CARBICA) and supports its region-wide objectives to enhance member abilities to recover the loss of cultural heritage and to encourage consideration for cultural assets by disaster management authorities. The current visit is part of CARBICA's larger "Archives at Risk" project, a three- year initiative funded by the International Council on Archives (ICA).

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