Check out: jQuery BBQ
jQuery BBQ is designed for parsing things from the url (query string or fragment), and goes a bit farther to simplify fragment-based history. This is the jQuery plugin Yarin was looking for before he put together a pure js solution. Specifically, the deparam.fragment() function does the job. Have a look!
(The support site I'm working on uses an asynchronous search, and because BBQ makes it trivial to tuck entire objects into the fragment I use it to 'persist' my search parameters. This gives my users history states for their searches, and also allows them to bookmark useful searches. Best of all, when QA finds a search defect they can link straight to the problematic results!)