FULLER-ELIJAH-L ArchivesArchiver > FULLER-ELIJAH > 2005-09 > 1125903131
From: "Celtic Lady" <>
Subject: Fw: [KYJP] What Happened to the Records in LA?
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2005 08:52:11 +0200
I am forwarding an email from the KY JacksonPuchase web site from the
wonderful Bill Utterback who manages that site. As genealogists who have
all long despaired over burned, destroyed and missing historical documents,
it's nice to know that document/photo recovery experts are going to be on
the scene on the Gulf coast very soon. It is so difficult to fathom the
true extent of the destruction of a calamity of this magnitude and how many
people it will affect -- we probably won't know for years.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Utterback" <>
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2005 4:22 AM
Subject: [KYJP] What Happened to the Records in LA?
> My friends -
> As we all continue to watch the horrific scenes from the New Orleans and
> adjoining areas, and express our thanks that rescue and recovery now seems
> to be progressing at a much more rapid pace, we might pause - for a brief
> moment - in our thoughts and wonder about what has happened to the
> historical and genealogical records of that area, especially those in New
> Orleans, which has a rich and varied past.
> Just as an FYI, I am passing along the following piece which appeared
> yesterday in the "Washington Post". It has been making the rounds of some
> lists, so if you have seen it before, please delete. But it is good to
> know that once the living have been rescued and order restored, part of
> the activity to follow that will be efforts at saving the valuable records
> of the area.
> One area which has not been covered well by the news media has been the
> cemetery situation in New Orleans. As many of you know, most burials in
> that area are above ground, since digging down only a dozen feet or so
> will strike water. One of the national newspapers(I believe it was the
> Wall Street Journal)reported a day or two ago that many of the mausoleums
> and aboveground crypts in that area had been disturbed or destroyed and
> that opened, ruined caskets and loose bodies were numerous in and around
> these cemeteries. The cemetery directors are doing everything possible to
> insure that the bodies are located, identified and reinterred in a
> dignified manner as soon as rebuilding has been done. In one case, in
> which the cemetery office itself had been destroyed, the cemetery manager
> set up a tent and, with a shotgun handy, stayed all night to protect the
> dead if necessary. Interestingly, the below ground burials(these are
> apparently on somewhat higher ground)fared better than the above ground
> Let us pray that we shall never again see such a heartrending disaster as
> this hurricane as wrought.
> THE WASHINGTON POST:
> Park Service Team Set to Rescue Years of Artifacts
> By Petula Dvorak
> Their bags are packed with safety glasses, gloves, masks, boots and
> suits. As soon as they hit the ground in New Orleans, they plan to set up
> triage tents and long tables.
> Then the emergency team from the National Park Service will begin its
> work: blotting, washing, drying, straightening and preserving centuries of
> historical artifacts that tell the story of one of the oldest U.S. cities.
> The curators, archaeologists and historians of the Park Service's Museum
> Resource Center are not the bookish types who dwell in dusty stacks.
> These are people who are trained in outdoor survival skills, are
> immunized against disaster area diseases, have helicoptered in and out of
> work sites and know how to identify poisonous snakes and spiders, said Pam
> West, director of the center.
> Their biggest enemy is mildew.
> "When we do retrieved artifacts, we're dealing in extreme mold," West
> said. "Anytime 48 hours pass, you get mold. You have to fight mold. We've
> seen it turn the most amazing colors -- bubble-gum pink once."
> The preservationists dried and blotted a million artifacts from colonial
> Jamestown in Virginia after Hurricane Isabel hit in 2003. Last year, they
> used boats to get to 300,000 artifacts in the Fort Pickens museum near
> Pensacola, Fla., after Hurricane Ivan.
> Once it gets the all-clear in the coming days, the preservation team will
> head to the Crescent City to retrieve documents, photographs, furniture
> and other pieces of history that have marked the rich life of a city
> founded in 1718 and occupied by the French, Spanish, Creoles, Americans,
> Confederates, fire, disease and water -- again and again.
> There are photographs and musical instruments in the Park Service's jazz
> museum, musical scores in Louis Armstrong's home, archives at the Jean
> Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve museum and the Chalmette
> Battlefield and National Cemetery, all floating in swampy, oily, polluted
> Once the artifacts are pulled from the water, Park Service specialists
> can begin the work: laying out, sorting, stretching, drying. "Papers can
> be freeze-dried. Photos, furniture and furnishings can be washed and
> dried," West said.
> Sometimes, they can clean objects and transport them for restoration at a
> better facility. But as is often the case in hurricane situations -- where
> humans, let alone objects can't get transportation, refrigeration or
> water -- curators have to work in less-than-ideal conditions. "I saw
> someone preserve a 20-by-20 photo right there on the spot once. They knew
> how to dry and blot and straighten it right there, in the middle of camp,"
> West said.
> The team also plans to work with universities and the residents of New
> Orleans, helping restore hundreds of years of memories.
> ==== KYJacksonPurchase Mailing List ====
> "With my father's passing I was abruptly stripped of any illusions of my
> own mortality; no longer might I comfort myself with the thought that he
> was next in line ahead of me. For any boy, that is one of his father's
> silent functions - to stand as a shield between his son and the abyss".
> -Thomas Whittemore
|Fw: [KYJP] What Happened to the Records in LA? by "Celtic Lady" <>|