Floods can cause devastating damage to personal possessions and cultural heritage collections

Here’s how you can seek help.

Individuals (personal keepsakes, family archives, art works etc)

  • Go to the AICCM website for simple steps you can take to start salvaging things yourself – but please remember to always put your own safety first.
  • For free phone advice (business hours), call one of your State cultural organisations and ask to speak to the Conservation department. Choose one likely to have the right expertise (e.g. the Library for papers and photographs). They might refer you to another organisation if they have more relevant experience to answer your question. (Please note that some State organisations will also be responding to the floods and may not be in a position to respond).
  • For onsite assistance, contact one of our conservators in private practice. Private conservators can also provide quotes for treatments to clean and repair damaged items, for insurance claims. https://aiccm.org.au/find-a-conservator/

Collections (small museums, archives, keeping places, historical societies, galleries etc)

  • As above, but AICCM also has a limited number of $1,000 grants for conservators to help triage, salvage and document small public collections.
  • To access this support, connect with a conservator working in private practice. Our professional member listings are a good place to start, or you might find one through your local network or professional association. They’ll need to be a member of AICCM and have their own insurance. https://aiccm.org.au/find-a-conservator/
  • The conservator will apply to AICCM for the grant to help them assist you – this can cover the cost of their labour, as well as covering expenses such as travel, accomodation and the purchase of salvage materials.
  • The amount is small so will likely only cover a day or two of help, but we hope it can help get your recovery started.

Download AICCM’s After a Flood Brochure [PDF 559.27 KB] to find out what you can do to salvage water damaged possessions.

Download AICCM’s Actions for drying flood-damaged artworks (paintings) Brochure [PDF 70kb] for advice for water damaged paintings

Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation Flood Recovery resource

Download the GCCMC Flood recovery guildelines [PDF 459 KB]

All AICCM information sheets are available for download – so go ahead and print, copy and circulate!

These resources cover a variety instructions for dealing with water-damaged materials.

Australian resources

International resources


The National Park Service (USA) publish a series of Conserve-o-grams. These help sheets are object or material specific and focus on salvaging water-damaged collections.