Several recent news reports have highlighted the impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine on museum and living collections, including this piece by Science Insider and this one about zoos. A number of efforts have sprouted across various collections constituencies to help support Ukrainian collections. Some of these initiatives are highlighted below, with information about how you can help available on the linked websites.
US Government Initiative to Assist Ukrainian Collections
The US Department of State, the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections (IWGSC), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI) are working together to help identify, and where possible, assist with efforts to save and protect priceless Ukrainian archival, cultural, and scientific collections under threat.
They are requesting help in quickly identifying relevant collections in Ukraine and their needs. Please use the Google Form link below to provide information about respective collection(s), including descriptions, locations, special needs, and points of contact. Please submit one form entry for each collection. The data submitted will be stored in a secure database with the US State Department. The Online Information Collection Form is available here: Ukrainian Archival, Cultural, and Scientific Collections
For questions, please contact Katelynn Averyt – Smithsonian Institution at AverytK@si.edu.
ASPT’s Herbarium Emergency Fund
Index Herbariorum is an online database of the world’s herbaria. Contributing information to Index Herbariorum has been a tradition in the herbarium community for nearly 80 years. This resource allowed the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) to quickly identify and reach out to the herbaria of Ukraine (26 in total, with about 4 million specimens) to ask about the status of their collection, and offer modest financial support from their Herbarium Emergency Fund for supplies for stabilizing their collections. As a result, a small grant was made to the herbarium of the State Museum of Natural History in Lviv to purchase protective supplies, and these are now in place. You can still donate to ASPT’s Herbarium Emergency Fund.
Network of European Museum Organizations: Museums Support Ukraine
NEMO is collecting and monitoring support activities and initiatives organized by European museums for Ukrainian colleagues and citizens. This page gathers support actions relating to support on the ground, storage and housing, job offers, donations, education and exhibitions.
Emergency Appeal for Ukrainian Zoos
The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA’s) mission is to facilitate cooperation within the European zoo and aquarium community towards the goals of education, research and conservation. EAZA is coordinating the collection of relief funds for our colleagues in Ukrainian zoos. If you would like to donate to help efforts to care for animals and maintain please visit this page.
ICOM Call for Donations to Support Museums and Museum Professionals
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) Secretariat has been in close contact with the National Committees in the region to understand the immediate needs of Ukrainian museum professionals. After receiving many offers of direct aid from the global museum community, ICOM has issued a call for donations, through which these offers of support can be coordinated at an international level. Learn more about how ICOM members can participate.
Denver Zoo’s Emergency Wildlife Fund
As a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) council (Board), Denver Zoo has been informed that their colleagues in Ukrainian zoos are caring for their animals under extremely dangerous and difficult conditions. Zoo leaders in countries bordering Ukraine are helping to provide food for the animals, transport and evacuation whenever possible, veterinary care and support to the teams caring for the animals. Denver Zoo is committed to providing financial support to Ukraine zoos and their regional partner zoos. If you would like to support this effort, please donate to Denver Zoo’s Emergency Wildlife Fund which provides funding for wildlife in crisis. Please donate by visiting this page.
Webinar Recording: A Dialogue with Ukrainian Museum Leaders on Defending and Preserving Culture and Identity in a Time of War
On May 2, the National Museum of American Diplomacy hosted a discussion with Ukrainian museum leaders who reported on efforts to protect their collections and preserve Ukraine’s identity and cultural heritage threatened by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war. The recording is now available at A Dialogue with Ukrainian Museum Leaders – YouTube.
CERF+ Report: Protecting Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage
On April 26, Dr. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative founder and Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, joined the CERF+ board for lunch during their spring meeting in Washington, DC. For a report on the insight he shared regarding Russia’s attack on Ukrainian culture and our collective responsibility to protect Ukrainian heritage, see Protecting Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage: A Special Report on Cultural Recovery – CERF+ (cerfplus.org).
Are you aware of other initiatives or resources that could be shared on this page? Please contact us.