HomeMt Laurel NewsMt. Laurel historian receives award for photo restoration efforts after Hurricane Sandy

Mt. Laurel historian receives award for photo restoration efforts after Hurricane Sandy

Mary V. Danielsen of Documented Legacy in Mt. Laurel was recently honored with the Community Service Award by the Association of Personal Historians for her work in photo recovery and restoration following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Danielsen was presented the award at the association’s international conference in Washington D.C.

Following the hurricane last year, Danielsen volunteered with a grassroots neighborhood group in Union Beach, Monmouth County, to rescue, clean and digitize more than 20,000 photographs that washed away from homes and businesses. She also assisted in fundraising to secure the needed equipment and supplies for the group. The extent of the storm damage in that community caused photos to wash ashore nearly a year later. The neighborhood project is still ongoing.

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Danielsen has recently begun working with Couragent, makers of the Flip-Pal mobile scanner used in the disaster recovery efforts, to launch a Duty to Scan program, which encourages families to protect their legal documents and precious family memories as part of a personal disaster preparedness and prevention plan. It encourages people to regularly budget time to conduct household inventories, scan legal documents and receipts, digitize photos and backup their archives using simple preservation methods.

Those experiences have lead Documented Legacy, through Couragent and the Memory Preservation Coalition in Colorado, to help other neighborhood groups around the country launch similar photo recovery programs following natural disasters and accidents.

She is current enrolled in a seven-month certification program on Caring for Yesterday’s Treasures — Today with Heritage Preservation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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