Monday, June 16, 2008

National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library

As the days go by, we'll learn of a number of historical, cultural, and genealogical resources which have sustained losses or damage due to the Midwest floods. One such resource is the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There is no telephone service to the facility as of now. Here's what it looked like yesterday:

Here's a statement from Gail Naughton, President and CEO of NCSML which appeared on their website:

A statement from Gail Naughton, President/CEO

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

News coverage of this week’s events has demonstrated to the world the indomitable

spirit of eastern Iowans. Our local community of Czechs, many of whom live in neighborhoods surrounding Czech Village or whose families settled in southwest Cedar Rapids generations ago, have endured countless losses. Our hearts go out to them and to everyone in the Cedar Rapids community who is coping with outcomes of the disaster.

The staff of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library does not yet know the extent of the damage to the Museum and we will not know for some time. We were able to remove many items from the collection to safety before flood waters came. The board and staff are holding emergency meetings to begin coordination of our plans for disaster recovery.

We have received messages of support and concern from Czechs, Slovaks, and museum members around the country and the world. It is gratifying to know their hearts are touched by what is happening here in our community. Thanks to 21st century communications, Czechs in Prague and Slovaks in Bratislava are quite aware of what is happening in Cedar Rapids and to their Museum.

The Czech and Slovak peoples have endured many devastating events in their history and have survived to become stronger. Iowa is filled with the strength of those who settled here and built the Cedar Rapids community. The museum will rise again from above the flood waters to continue as the touchstone for Czech and Slovak cultural heritage in the United States.

Callers will not be able to reach the Museum through our listed telephone number. For the latest information on the Museum go to the Museum’s website which will be periodically updated.

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