State Archives Donate Personal Protective Equipment to Hospitals

Mar 30, 2020

State Archives Donate Personal Protective Equipment to Hospitals

As we continue to practice social distancing, hand washing, working from home, and contemplating the future of COVID-19 curve-flattening, several state archives are answering the call for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE). Archivists regularly use masks, respirators, gloves, and related tools when dealing with disaster response for damaged records or conserving moldy or dusty materials. 

CoSA members are sharing equipment from their archival supplies and disaster relief materials. Among them, the Maryland State Archives’ Conservation Lab, which maintains a stock of masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment for working with moldy records. The MSA donated unopened boxes of these items to the Anne Arundel Medical Center to help front-line health care workers who are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Alabama State Archives donated N95 masks, gloves, and lab coats to local hospitals (above left) and the New York State Archives and New York State Library donated 22,000 pairs of gloves and approximately 500 masks to efforts here in New York (above right).

When the local medical community called for donations of much-needed personal protective equipment, staff at the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ museums, archives and conservation labs answered. Staff from across the department have contributed items including nitrile, latex and vinyl exam gloves; hand sanitizer; disposable booties, lab coats and caps; masks, goggles and face shields. So far, DNCR staff have donated approximately 14,000 pairs of gloves, more than 300 N-95 masks, and 1,500 medical-grade swabs, among other items, with more being collected for future delivery. Donations have been delivered to UNC Healthcare, Rex Healthcare and ECU clinics.

The state archives (or their parent organizations) in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Florida have also offered N95 respirators, dust masks, gloves, and medical-grade swabs to medical facilities in their states. The Illinois State Archives also donated cleaning supplies to area hospitals in addition to masks, gloves, and protective clothing.

Barbara Teague, executive director of the Council of State Archivists, noted this generosity is often standard procedure across the state archives community, even in the most extraordinary situations. “State, territorial, and the District of Columbia archives are service organizations at our core,” she said. “We are experienced in providing hands-on assistance during natural disasters, delivering training and grants to local governments and community organizations to help with the preservation of records, or sharing equipment during national emergencies.”

If you’ve got a story to share about how your agency is helping your community during this crisis, please let your colleagues at CoSA know.

Category: General News

Get the CoSA News Brief

Stay Connected