National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library Flood

The National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, IA sustained very significant damage due to terrible flooding in June 2008.

The picture on June 13, 2008 of the Museum & Library being approximately 80% under water is heartbreaking. Many treasures were lost but restoration and re-construction work has begun and you can help.


There has been a National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Disaster Relief Fund established. Anyone may make an online donation on the website, or at any Wells Fargo Bank location in the U.S. Donations may also be mailed to: NCSML, 30 16th Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Mail sent to this address will be forwarded to a temporary office.

An update from Gail Naughton at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library as of June 20, 2008 follows:

“The destruction is devastating and we are now occupied with removing all the damaged library items and anything else that can be saved from the main building. We had moved most of the important items from the library before the flood, but much still remained. We are freezing them and then will make decisions on which to conserve. Of the artifacts, many remained above water and have now been moved to a safe place. The ones that were damaged are being treated by a team from the Chicago Conservation Center and will hopefully be saved. We fortunately have some flood insurance on the collection which is paying for this initial treatment but it won’t go far enough.”

“Inside the building the exhibitions are completely destroyed including exhibit cases and all furniture. We will remove all the sheet rock from the walls, disinfect so that mold doesn’t take hold and will end with a shell of the outside brick walls and roof, with a beautiful chandelier still intact. The building was not insured for flood and the loss will be in the millions. It is a huge task that is overwhelming in its enormity. We are responding to the immediate disaster now and it will take time to step back and assess what we will do next. Of one thing we are sure, we will rebuild and will be even better than ever. Czechs and Slovaks are strong from having survived many trials in their history and we are counting on that. Please hold us in your thoughts and prayers.”

Reconstruction as of January 2011

Webcams will offer view of Czech Museum move

The move and relocation of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) in Cedar Rapids will be viewable on the Internet thanks to two webcams that have been installed near the construction site.

After successfully raising $25 million, the museum and library broke ground and began construction Dec. 15. Last year, the board of directors of the NCSML decided to move the 1,400-ton structure and elevate it three feet above the 2008 flood level. A 30,000-square-foot expansion will provide room for additional exhibition galleries, collection storage, a theatre, enlarged programming space and a museum store.

Patterson Structural Movers of Washington already has begun to weld 100-foot beams used in the relocation. Once beams and jacks are in place, the building will move one-quarter mile per hour to its new location across the street. The entire move will take 45-60 days beginning in April.

According to the International Association of Structural Movers, it is the largest museum ever moved.

A link to the live webcams can be found on the museum and library’s home page at the upper right hand corner of the screen.