The Queensland Disaster Information Network (Q-DIS) is a group for sharing information on disaster preparedness and planning for heritage and cultural collections in Queensland.

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Comment by Q-DIS on January 6, 2011 at 15:31

Information received from Anglican Archives Brisbane...

at least two churches in the Diocese of Brisbane have been flooded i.e. Warra and Condamine. In Rockhampton Diocese, the churches of Theodore, Alpha, and Wowan have been flooded, and also the Registry/Archives building in Rockhampton. Apparently the archives and computers have been saved which is great news.

Comment by Q-DIS on January 6, 2011 at 14:32

Copy of message posted to Local Studies Librarians mailing list........


Hi all


We know everyone affected by the current floods will be doing the best they can in getting through this catastrophe.  While acknowledging that many regions affected are currently awaiting for flood waters to abate, some regions are able to return to a major clean up. Whatever your status, we wish you all well and offer the following information to assist your communities and reduce the amount of loss of items they treasure come clean up phase.                  


“Before you reluctantly toss that treasured but damaged photograph, paper record, or book! ... some advice”


Saving flood damaged collections  - Family Treasures


When the water subsides in the flood affected areas of Queensland, many people will face the daunting task of cleaning up their homes and offices. Often the most heartbreaking discoveries are damaged personal memorabilia such as photographs, books and letters and the things money just can’t buy.


Before discarding the muddied and sodden treasures because they appear to far gone, pause for a moment to know that there is the chance to save them by carrying out a few simple salvage techniques.


Advice on how to rescue water damaged collections can be found on the State Library of Queensland’s Preservation webpage


At there are leaflets on dealing with mould affected materials and tips on how to safely freeze objects. The more time an object is immersed in water or remains damp, the greater the risk of irreparable damage or mould growth. Salvage should begin as soon as there is no risk to personal safety.  


Badly damaged precious items may require professional conservation treatment. The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials’, the professional body for the conservation profession has details of private conservators on their website (, along with links to more useful information on saving water damaged collections. There is also the Queensland Disaster Information Network (Q-Dis) website is now operational at which may be able to provide assistance.


Grant Collins | Manager, Collection Preservation

State Library of Queensland | PO Box 3488 | South Brisbane 4101 |

t (07) 3840 7841 | f (07) 3842 9060 | e |




Comment by Q-DIS on January 5, 2011 at 14:35

Advice just received from Bronwyn Roper, the Central Queensland Museum Development Officer whose area covers the currently most affected region includes:

Emerald & District Historical Society

The pioneer cottage housing the museum displays just survived the rising floodwaters with water up to the floorboards but not coming inside.  A shipping container holding some objects did go under.  Central Highlands Regional Council are supplying cleaning equipment etc to local residents.


Rockhampton & District Historical Society

The SES, Rockhampton Regional Council and Comets football team helped raise the collection onto trestle tables inside the building to at least a 10-metre mark.  Council also supplied pumps and a generator which the SES are currently refuelling every few hours.  Doors have been sandbagged.  Water is currently higher than the verandahs but hopefully the inside is remaining dry.  John Fletcher, the President, has purchased some long handled brooms (there are still some available in town!) however if anyone has access to industrial fans please let me know.  We will need to dry out any timber which has soaked up water.  John predicts it will be 10 days before the building is even accessible.  On the lighter side, the Morning Bulletin reported that the footy boys learnt a bit of local history while they were helping out.  What a way to reach a new audience!


Dawson Folk Museum, Theodore

The town is still evacuated and it is unclear how the museum went in the floods, however it will be far more important for the residents to get themselves sorted out first.


On a positive note museums that are OK include:

  • Capricorn Coast Historical Society
  • Baralaba History Group
  • Joskeleigh South Sea Islander Museum
  • Rockhampton Heritage Village
  • Mt Chalmers History Centre
  • Taroom Museum
  • Gladstone Maritime Museum
  • Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum
  • Sarina Museum
  • CQ Family History Association
  • Mt Morgan Museum
  • Moura Coal and Country Historical Society
Comment by Q-DIS on January 5, 2011 at 14:23

A resource packed with information to assist in the salvage of water damaged collections can be found on the State Library of Queensland website 


In addition to discussion on equipment and materials needed, setting up and creating the right storage environment, it emphasises that safety of people is paramount at all times. Salvage advice is then neatly summarised in a table  from the perspective of the material type damaged eg book, photograph or album. The table also includes information on salvage priority and handling considerations.

Comment by Q-DIS on January 4, 2011 at 11:05

Rockhampton floods

At the moment flood waters are still rising in Rockhampton. At 6am Tuesday 3/01/11 the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton was 9.15 metres and rising
slowly with major flooding. It is expected to peak up to 9.4 metres on
Wednesday and to remain above 8.5 metres (major) for 1
week after the peak.

The flood waters are heading towards the Rockhampton Historical Society and part of their preparations have included getting their local football team to help raise the collection onto trestles and the council has supplied them with two pumps.

See the story at:


Comment by Ann Baillie on December 16, 2010 at 18:25

Here's a useful blog post on Preparing for Disasters from Sarah- Jane Rennie at M&G NSW


Useful tips from the NSW floods.

Comment by Lisa Jones on December 15, 2010 at 9:18


In 2007 (typically while I was away from the office for a week) we had a substantial water leak in one of our store rooms. Luckily apart from ruined paintwork and smelly carpets there was no damage to the collection.  In 2009 it happened again, and because we did not write down what happened in 2007, holes were recut into ceilings and money was re-spent when it was not necessary. In 2010 the leak happened for a third time, easily 10 litres of water came out of the ceiling - but this time I had documented the previous encounters and we could quickly get the problem seen to and as this seemed to becoming a yearly occurrence I got the air-conditioning men to tell me the precise problem. Its probably going to happen again (one of the joys of being housed in an 8 storey building)  but  now I have documentation of the disasters, an annual reminder in my calendar and have added the Disaster Documentation to our Disaster Preparedness Plan.

DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT - It so very important.


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