Blue Shield

Blue Shield Australia is a member of the international committee of the Blue Shield set up in 1996 to work to protect the world’s cultural heritage threatened by disasters of all types.

The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) and its affiliated national committees (such as Blue Shield Australia) work together as the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross internationally.

The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS)

Following the Second World War, UNESCO adopted the Hague Convention (1954) which created rules to protect cultural goods during armed conflicts. This Convention was the first international treaty aimed at protecting cultural heritage in the context of war and which highlighted the concept of common heritage.
The Blue Shield is the symbol used to identify cultural sites protected by this Convention.  It is also the name of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) that works to protect world cultural heritage threatened by natural and human-made disasters.

The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) covers museums and archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, and monuments and sites. It brings together the knowledge, experience and international networks of the following non-governmental organisations dealing with cultural heritage:

  •   ICA: International Council on Archives
  •   ICOM: International Council of Museums
  •   IFLA: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions     
  •   ICOMOS: International Council on Monuments and Sites
  •   CCAAA: Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations     

2018 Blue Shield Australia Symposium 

Blue Shield Australia members and supporters will gather at the 2018 Blue Shield Australia Symposium to be held on 29-30 January 2018 in Canberra, Australia.

The symposium will be held at the National Library of Australia where delegates will share expertise, experiences and case studies of the protection of cultural heritage in times of natural disaster, as well as to discuss climate change and the strategies being put in place by the sector to work towards a sustainable future. 

The Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Pacific Regions are often affected by natural disasters and we look forward to learning from each other to advance the work of the International Committee of the Blue Shield to safeguard cultural assets for future generations.

Tours, workshops and an evening Welcome Reception will be held on Monday 29 January, followed by the Symposium on Tuesday 30 January 2018.

 Professor Peter Stone, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University, UK, Chair of the UK National Committee of the Blue Shield and Interim Secretary of the Blue Shield internationally, has been confirmed as the opening speaker at the Symposium.

Please continue to check the Symposium website for updated information about the event, including registration and accommodation details.

Additional information regarding tours and workshops to be held in conjunction with the symposium will be available shortly, as will the online registration form.


Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is an international committee, working to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict and natural disasters.

Blue Shield Australia (BSA) is a member of both the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) and of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS).
Blue Shield Australia run an annual MayDay Campaign (1 May), promoting disaster planning and awareness amongst archives, libraries, museums, galleries, local history groups and other cultural heritage organisations during the month of May.
Blue Shield encourage libraries and other cultural institutions to develop a disaster recovery plan, revise existing plans, trial the plan and build networks to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters.
For more information, visit the Blue Shield Australia website.

MayDay Resources 

Blue Shield MayDay 2016 logos pdf/word

Blue Shield Background Flyer pdf

Blue Shield MayDay flyer pdf

Blue Shield Australia MayDay 2017 How will you celebrate pdf