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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

salvaging items after a flood or fire 


Effective disaster management and response is an essential part of protecting the thousands of cultural collections currently residing both within institutions and in private collections today. A key part of this process is salvaging or recovering items that have been damaged as a result of the disaster. The sooner you can salvage your item/s, the less likely they are to suffer permanent and/or irreversible damage.  

We have compiled a list of resources available online that discuss how to salvage your items after a flood or fire. Please note that this is general information, and may not be specific to your object. If your collection or item has been affected by a disaster, please do not hesitate to contact us for specific information relating to salvaging your collection. We can assist with advice or physical help is salvage is required.

Many of the links below refer to ranges of relative humidity (RH) and temperature for safe, long term display and storage.  As you will read, different organisations sometimes state different ranges. This is because there is no single correct range.

Latest information tells us that setting ‘one size fits all' ranges for RH and temperature isn't always necessary or appropriate. As organisations update their fact sheets, this will be revised.

As always, the most important thing is to keep your items in a stable environment, one where the RH and temperature remain relatively constant throughout the day and across the year.  It is the changes in RH and temperature that can cause physical problems such as cracks, splits, and distortion.

 Bark painting TN 

caring for: bark paintings

 Book conservation 

caring for: books

 Ceramic conservation TN 

caring for: ceramic and glass objects

 Papuan skull board TN 

caring for: ethnographic objects

 National Trust of Australia NSW cellarette TN 

caring for: furniture and wooden objects

 Documents and photographs TN 

caring for: historical and archival material

 Metals conservation TN 

caring for: metal objects

 Ritter Intro 

caring for: paintings and frames


caring for: photographs

 Plastics TN 

caring for: plastic objects

 Sculpture TN 

caring for: stone objects

 Sampler Intro 

caring for: textiles and costume

 Works of art on paper TN 

caring for: works of art on paper