The National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) today announced that no collection items were damaged in the severe hailstorm that hit Canberra last night.
While the Acton headquarters of the NFSA suffered as a result of the storm, the damage seems isolated to the ground-floor public exhibition areas. No items of the collection are stored in these areas, and none of the collection items on display was damaged.
The NFSA is closed to the public today while staff work to clean up the aftermath of the storm. An assessment will be made later today as to whether the building will reopen to the public tomorrow.
The NFSA's collection of over 1.6 million items is stored in a purpose-built environment in the Canberra suburb of Mitchell. The collection documents the history of moving image and recorded sound in Australia and abroad.
This is the second time in two years that the NFSA's Disaster Recovery Plan has been called into action as a result of a severe storm: in November 2005, prompt action by staff saved items of the collection from water damage at the Mitchell storage facility after a freak hailstorm.
"As on that occasion, the NFSA team, as well as facilities and technical support staff, have done a fantastic job," said NFSA Director Paolo Cherchi Usai. "The national audiovisual collection is in good hands."