Who We Are
Cultural heritage is a treasured record of our human existence. Today, irreplaceable collections, cultural heritage sites, and cultural traditions face unprecedented hazards from armed conflict, earthquakes, superstorms, climate change, and other threats,
The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative mission is to protect cultural heritage threatened or impacted by disasters and to help U.S. and international communities preserve their identities and history.
The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative accomplishes its mission by:
- Convening and collaborating with government agencies, international and professional organizations, and local communities to develop policies, strategies, programs, and best practices with regard to saving cultural heritage in crisis
- Promoting awareness about cultural heritage crises to officials, thought leaders, professional colleagues, and the public
- Training cultural heritage stewards, emergency managers, law enforcement, and the military on the protection of cultural heritage in light of natural disasters, major accidents, and human conflicts
- Responding with an on-the-ground presence to particular cultural heritage crises
- Conducting and supporting research to improve understanding of-and the response to-cultural crises
In all of these activities the Smithsonian follows best practices in humanitarian aid, creating a support system that enables local and national governments and organizations to manage and participate fully in their own cultural rescue and recovery efforts.
Global Partnerships & Collaborations
The Smithsonian works closely and cooperatively with local and regional communities, government agencies, and cultural professional organizations to save heritage in the most responsive, efficient, and effective ways.