Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


DOI of Published Version



This chapter recounts the collaborative response of four cultural heritage institutions located in two cities flooded by two different rivers – the Iowa River, which divides the University of Iowa and the Cedar River, which runs through the city of Cedar Rapids. The author sets the stage by providing extracts from a blog written at the time of the flooding events and reflects on the differences between the floods and the responses. She details the way in which four institutions— the University of Iowa Libraries, the Johnson County Historical Society, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and the African American Museum of Iowa—collaborated to share political clout, supplies, disaster recovery services, and expertise. Inter-institutional cooperation minimized damage to collections and reduced the time needed to become operational again. The chapter concludes with observations on managing disasters, salvaging collections, working with a conservation lab and disaster recovery company, managing volunteers and the press, and maintaining continuity of operation.


University of Iowa Libraries, Johnson County Historical Society, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, African American Museum of Iowa, Iowa Flood of 2008, Cedar River, Iowa River, disaster response


Chapter written for a book that was never published.

Journal Article Version

Author's Original


Copyright © 2014, Nancy E. Kraft

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.