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6. Specialty Session [clear filter]
Thursday, May 31


(Collection Care) Stash Flash V – Storage Tips Session
The STASHc (Storage Techniques for Art, Science and History collections) website www.stashc.com, hosted by FAIC is now five years old and continues to expand as a resource for sharing well-designed storage solutions.  To complement AIC’s 46th Annual Meeting conference theme, the 2018 STASH Flash session will focus on the interplay between the material composition of artifacts and the materials chosen for the construction of storage and support solutions. The session will utilize a lightening round or “tips” format and the full presentations will be posted on the STASHc website following the conference.  After the presentations there will be an update on the Collection Care Network’s new Materials Working Group and we will engage participants in discussion about their hopes and needs for an online resource that will aid in making suitable materials choices for storage, exhibit and transport.
Download a complete listing of talks with abstracts below.

avatar for Rachael Perkins Arenstein-[PA]

Rachael Perkins Arenstein-[PA]

Partner, AM Art Conservation LLC
Rachael Perkins Arenstein is a Professional Associate member of the American Institute for Conservation. She is a principal of A.M. Art Conservation, LLC, the private practice that she co-founded in 2009. She has worked at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, the Smithsonian's National... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Goldberg

Lisa Goldberg

Conservator, Goldberg Preservation Services, LLC
Project leader for STASH, AIC News Editor and conservator in private practice. Lisa Goldberg is a private conservator with a focus on preventive care as well as health and safety issues. She is a member of SPNHC and AAM, and is a Professional Associate of AIC. As long time editor... Read More →

avatar for Dorothy Cheng

Dorothy Cheng

Conservator, Cheng Conservation
Dorothy Cheng completed her MA degree in Conservation Studies at West Dean College in England, in September 2015, specializing in metalwork. As an Edward James Foundation Anniversary scholar, she investigated the impact of a siloxane anti-graffiti coating on Corten® A weathering... Read More →
avatar for Isaac Facio

Isaac Facio

Assistant Conservator, Preparation and Mounting, Textiles, Art Institute of Chicago
avatar for Alison Reppert Gerber

Alison Reppert Gerber

Preservation Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Alison is the Preservation Coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) in Washington, DC. At SIA, she oversees all preservation-related activities, which include collection need and risk assessment, preventive conservation tasks, budgeting and procurement, and long-term... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon

Conservation Technician, Textiles, Art Institute of Chicago
Sarah Gordon is the Conservation Technician in the textile conservation lab at the Art Institute of Chicago. In charge of preparation and collections care, she holds a strong interest in preventive conservation, particularly in integrated pest management. She graduated with a Bachelor... Read More →
avatar for Marieka Kaye-[PA]

Marieka Kaye-[PA]

Head, Conservation & Book Repair, University of Michigan Library
Marieka currently holds the position of Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Head, Conservation & Book Repair at the University of Michigan Library. She has worked at U-M since 2013, after serving as a book and paper conservator for 8 years at the Huntington Library in San... Read More →
avatar for Morgan Nau

Morgan Nau

Associate Conservator, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Morgan Nau is the Associate Conservator at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. She most recently held the position of Associate Conservator of Objects at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Before that, she spent time at The Field Museum where she prepared... Read More →
avatar for James S. Thurn

James S. Thurn

Preservation Specialist, Library of Congress
Jim Thurn is a book and paper conservator by profession. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, at the former Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, where I earned a Master of Science in Information Studies with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Conservation... Read More →

Thursday May 31, 2018 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston


(Collection Care) Making the Most of What You Have: Digital Documentation Solutions Utilizing Existing Software
Documentation is an important aspect of a conservator’s work and is essential for communication between conservators in the present and the future. While vital, documentation using traditional methods can also be very time consuming, when time is an ever more limited commodity. In an effort to streamline the documentation process, conservators at the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) have implemented a process for digital condition reporting using Microsoft OneNote and tablet computers. While a number of options for digital condition reporting have presented themselves in recent years, these tend to rely on specialized software or apps and are often restricted to a single type of operating system. By using Microsoft OneNote, already a part of the museum’s IT infrastructure, and tablet PCs the conservation department has been able to improve the efficiency of documentation processes without purchasing additional software or placing undue burden on SLAM’s IT department. This paper will focus on the genesis and implementation of digital condition reporting at SLAM using Microsoft OneNote, including an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the process. The potential for further applications of Microsoft OneNote for collections documentation will also be discussed.

avatar for Raina Chao-[PA]

Raina Chao-[PA]

Associate Objects Conservator, Saint Louis Art Museum
Raina Chao received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007 and her M.A. in Art History and Advanced Certificate in Art Conservation from the Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 2011. She... Read More →
avatar for L. H.(Hugh) Shockey-[PA]

L. H.(Hugh) Shockey-[PA]

Head of Conservation | Objects Conservator, Saint Louis Art Museum
L. H. (Hugh) Shockey Jr. MS, AIC-PA is Head of Conservation and Object Conservator at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Previously he was the objects conservator at the Lunder Conservation Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum where he performed treatment on electronic media and... Read More →

avatar for Mike Peters

Mike Peters

System Administrator, Saint Louis Art Museum
Mike Peters is a past System Administrator in the IT department at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Thursday May 31, 2018 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston


(Collection Care) How to Label Everything – A Review of Current Best Practices in Natural History Labelling
Natural history collections are used primarily for research by scientists and academics. These collections are continually growing to track information about species and populations in the natural world. These collections are often quite large and labels are fundamental to help distinguish one specimen from its similar looking neighbours. Labels in natural history collections often contain original information which is not recorded elsewhere in museum records and specimens without labels are generally regarded as having no research value. Labels should last as long as their associated specimens. Finding materials to ensure the archival properties for each element of the label, including paper, plastic, inks and adhesives, can be a daunting affair. At the Canadian Museum of Nature, we undertook a comprehensive review of our labelling protocols. The results have been disseminated on the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections wiki page on Best Practices for Labelling Natural History Collections. It addresses a tremendous range of labelling issues that can be easily adapted to other collections from inorganic to organic, microscopic to massive, and wet to dry to ultra-cold. The project’s aim was to improve the decision making about the selection and purchasing of labelling materials. We presented our results to maximize end user benefits. We identified three generalized natural history labelling scenarios: dry labels, wet labels and ultra-cold labels. For each scenario, we made a decision tree to clarify and highlight the logic behind the selection of certain materials. To facilitate purchasing of the best materials, we summarized key archival concepts, terms, and symbols used by commercial suppliers that curatorial staff are likely to encounter on supplier websites. We also summarized relevant industry and government standards relating to archival materials, which could be used to objectively evaluate materials. Finally, we summarized previously-developed simple testing protocols that could be used to evaluate purchased materials once acquired. Focusing on the end users, through decision trees to present key information to facilitate purchasing, has been well received and has great potential to be adapted to other categories of archival materials for which conservators make recommendations. This project also highlighted the challenges in making effective recommendations when new archival materials continue to be developed and adopted. As a profession, we therefore need to continue to have higher level discussions among all stakeholders including, but not limited to, manufacturers, purchasers, conservators, conservation scientists, and standards and testing organizations. A more comprehensive understanding of material science, industry standards and simple tests for archival quality will help collections care staff make informed decisions when selecting labeling materials.


Luci Cipera

Conservator, Canadian Museum of Nature
Luci Cipera works as a conservator at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Luci joined the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2004 on the team responsible for moving the bird and mammal galleries during the museum’s renovation. She is a graduate of the Master of Art Conservation program at... Read More →
avatar for Erika Range

Erika Range

Conservation Technician, Canada Science and Technology Museum
Erika Range is an emerging cultural heritage professional and conservator. She completed her undergraduate degree from Trent University in Anthropology, graduating with high honours in 2008. She has also completed a master’s degree from University College London (2010) in Principles... Read More →

Thursday May 31, 2018 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston


(Collection Care) Vibration testing and wandering of objects in a natural history collection
Studies on the effects of vibrations on the condition of objects of cultural heritage often focus on paintings or unique objects with particular historical value. However, vibrations are also of concern for large collections of objects which serve as (inter)national reference collections. One such collection is the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, home to the fifth largest natural history collection in the world with over 37 million objects. The storage facilities are physically attached to the museum, offices and laboratories, which are undergoing major renovations. This collection cannot be moved elsewhere, so there are obvious concerns about the effect of vibrations due to heavy construction on the wide variety of objects in the collection. There is virtually no data in the literature on the effect of vibrations on natural history objects. Naturalis and RCE therefore conducted a limited set of vibration tests to obtain an initial impression of what could happen to representative objects under vibration loading. Of particular interest were object resonance, movement on the shelves (“wandering”), and the appearance of damage. The storage situation was simulated by placing objects on typical free-standing metal shelves used in the storage facilities, which were placed unfastened on a commercial vibration testing table. Objects included mounted fauna, small specimen boxes, wood and mineral samples, mounted insects, and bottled biological samples. In order to study the effect of vibrations on the objects alone, they were also tested directly on the vibration table. Testing was conducted at different vibration frequencies and levels. Members of the Naturalis collection care staff visually determined the resonant frequencies and wandering behavior of the objects. The results showed that object vibration behavior depends on a number of factors including their weight, geometry, and mounting, the vibration behavior of the shelves, and characteristics of the object/shelf contact surface. If objects were placed directly on the vibration table, they began to resonate visibly at their resonant frequencies above levels of around 5 mm/s, and began to wander at levels above 20 mm/s. No damage was found for the objects tested for short durations, except for a small loss of particles from a large historical tree branch, and from minerals which lay unpadded on the table. However, vibrations were amplified through the loose standing shelves, reaching levels up to 20 times that of the vibration table itself. This resulted in significant wandering of objects on the shelves, including small specimen boxes falling off of stacks of such boxes. These results indicate that the 2 mm/s low-risk limit suggested by Wei et al (2014) for collections for one construction project would be applicable as a low-risk limit for natural history objects. However, measures would are needed to prevent objects from wandering (see also Smyth et al 2016). Non-reactive padding would help, and would also prevent damage to objects in direct contact with hard shelving materials. Furthermore, monitoring would need to be performed directly on the shelves, as opposed to just on the floor near the shelves.

avatar for William Wei

William Wei

Senior Conservation Scientist, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed
Dr. Wei (1955) is a senior conservation scientist in the Research Department of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE - Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed). He has a B.S.E. in mechanical engineering from Princeton University (1977) and a Ph.D. in materials science... Read More →


Esther Dondorp

Collection Manager - Reptiles and Amphibians, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Ms. Dondorp obtained her Master's of Science in Animal Biology at the University of Leiden in 2010. This included two internships in biology as part of a larger study on the relationship between birds and dinosaurs, where she focused on their common ancestor, the crocodile. The last... Read More →

Thursday May 31, 2018 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston
Friday, June 1


(Collection Care) Materials Selection for Storage, Exhibit, & Transport: A Moderated Panel Discussion
It is an acknowledged truth in the field of preventive conservation that materials selected for storage, exhibit, and transport of collections play a critical role in the long-term preservation of these same collections. The wrong materials—those selected without careful consideration or those selected based on flawed assumptions (e.g. one batch of material varies in composition from another)—can impact the overall stability of collections, promote damage to collection items, or result in material failure. Selecting an appropriate material can be fraught with challenges: What are the specific properties necessary for the task? How can these properties be evaluated to relate to material performance and overall task compatibility? How can communication with industry result in a supply of consistent material? Nevertheless, collection care professionals must regularly select materials for purpose amid these challenges, which can leave the professional feeling like their best efforts still rely on guesswork, qualitative evaluation, and inconsistent results. 
To begin unraveling this complex issue and begin developing solutions, a working group (Materials for Collection Care Working Group) consisting of the various stakeholders engaged in material development, testing, and selection is underway. This group is currently engaged in identifying the current challenges with materials selection and evaluation and more clearly defining the stakeholders and their roles. From there, the group will develop a resource for advancing the community’s ability to take a more educated role in material development, selection, evaluation, and use. 
A moderated panel focused on improving awareness of materials, their components, and the testing required for their use in collection care will consist of: 
1. A Standards professional representing an organization that develops community-tested standards, such as ASTM. This person will address how standards are developed, resources needed for their development, and community expectations: Michael Skalka, National Gallery of Art and ASTM Chairman of DOI.57 Artist Materials
2. A Conservation Scientist to present the complexities of material testing: Eric Breitung, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
3. A Conservator experienced in developing specifications for products: Andrew Robb, Library of Congress 
4. A Supplier discussing the challenges of working with manufacturers and consistency of materials: John Dunphy, University Products 
5. An Exhibit Designer discussing the challenges of working with collection care professionals and materials suppliers and manufacturers to develop in-budget exhibitions with a collection care priority: Tomomi Itakura, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco 
Through presentations and moderated discussions, continuing steps for the working group will be identified and prioritized. Each panelist will be given 10 minutes to speak, followed by 30 minutes for guided discussion and questions. 

avatar for Pamela Hatchfield

Pamela Hatchfield

Conservator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Pamela Hatchfield is the Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Head of Objects Conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She received her Master’s degree in Art History and Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, with an advanced level... Read More →
avatar for Catharine Hawks

Catharine Hawks

Collections Program Conservator, Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of Natural History
Catharine Hawks is an objects conservator with a focus on natural history collections. Before becoming the museum conservator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), she was in private practice for 20 years, working with over 100 institutional clients in... Read More →

avatar for Eric Breitung

Eric Breitung

Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Eric Breitung, Research Scientist, specializes in modern preservation materials and museum environment issues in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Scientific Research. His work includes the development of advanced analytical test methods for assessing commercial materials... Read More →
avatar for University Products

University Products

Supplier/Service Provider, University Products
University Products is the leading supplier of archival storage solutions. The company offers a wide array of archival storage products as well as conservation tools and equipment. Yes, we plan on having a new corrugated animal kit as a gift for you for stopping by our booth. Don't... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Robb

Andrew Robb

Special Projects Officer, Library of Congress
avatar for Michael Skalka

Michael Skalka

Conservation Administrator, National Gallery of Art
B.A., Art History, Rutgers University M.F.A. in Museum Studies, Syracuse University Conservation Administrator at the National Gallery of Art. 1984 to present. Responsible for overseeing daily financial administrative operations of the conservation division. Serves as the coordinator... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston


(Collection Care) Towards understanding the basis of Oddy test failures via quantitative volatile organics and other analytical analyses
We have been examining and testing a range of building, construction, and housing materials for their suitability and level of risk to a range of collection materials. Upon initial testing of proposed materials for use in two large construction/renovation projects, a substantial number of the materials were found to fail the standard Oddy metal coupon test, often in a rather unusual and/or spectacular manner. It should be noted that the original Oddy test focused on the impact on metal only, rather than considering the impact on other material compounds as the dose recipient (such as paper, parchment, polymers, etc.). We have been examining the compounds emitted by these construction and housing materials and how they interact/react with the metal coupons. Through the use of thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry, we are able to identify and quantify the compounds emitted from each material. In addition, other analytical tools are being utilized to examine what compounds are depositing or have reacted at the surface of the Oddy test coupons during exposure to elevated temperatures and humidity. Coordinating and comparing the chemical analyses with the results from the Oddy test are improving our ability to understand the mechanism(s) behind the failure of the Oddy test and, in turn, guide and speed material product selection. Testing of proposed materials aims to minimize risk to the collection but this risk often cannot be entirely removed by product choice alone. As a means of mitigating the residual risk from volatiles, we have also examinined and characterized commercially available sorbent materials for their selectivity, capacity, functionality and adsorption/desorption characteristics. This presentation will detail our on-going research using quantitative volatile organic compound analyses of building, construction, housing, and sorbent materials to further understand and minimize the risk to the range of materials in our collections during storage and exhibition.

avatar for Eric Monroe

Eric Monroe

Supervisory Physical Scientist, Library of Congress
Dr. Eric Monroe is a Supervisory Physical Scientist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Libray of Congress. Dr. Monroe received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 2008. From there, he completed postdoctoral studies... Read More →

avatar for Fenella France

Fenella France

Library of Congress
avatar for Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones

Preservation Specialist, Library of Congress
Amanda Jones is a Preservation Specialist in the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress.
avatar for Cindy Connelly Ryan

Cindy Connelly Ryan

Preservation Science Specialist, Library of Congress
Cindy Connelly Ryan is a conservation scientist and specialist in art technology source research at the Library of Congress Preservation Research and Testing Division in Washington, DC. Her research areas at LC have included accelerated aging methods, iron gall ink stabilization... Read More →
avatar for Kelli Stoneburner

Kelli Stoneburner

Preservation Technician, Library of Congress
Kelli Stoneburner is a Preservation Technician in the Preservation Research and Testing Division at the Library of Congress.

Friday June 1, 2018 10:30am - 11:00am
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston


(Collection Care) Evaluating the Potential of A-D Strips for Assessing the Safety of Materials for Museum Objects
This presentation will deliver the results of experiments designed to evaluate how A-D Strips, originally developed to quantify the condition of cellulose acetate film, can be applied to detecting other forms of acidic off-gassing as well. Organic carbonyls are found in a variety of materials including adhesives, wood and laminates, flooring, paints, and textiles used in the storage, display, and transport of objects. Acetic and formic acids are believed to be the primary risks to cultural heritage materials from organic carbonyl pollutants, whether directly emitted from a source or oxidized from the aldehyde forms acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. These pollutants are particularly damaging to metals such as lead and copper and calcareous materials (in the form of Byne’s Disease), but can also affect a range of other acid-sensitive materials.

Monitoring for the presence of organic carbonyls is currently limited because the methods for doing so (primarily diffusion tubes) can be expensive to employ. A-D Strips though provide a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive way and because of this, they have been used in a wide variety of applications: for monitoring of collections, to check the effectiveness of mitigation measures, to evaluate housing seals, and to confirm whether or not products are off-gassing in a version of an Oddy-like test.

In order to use the strips informatively where other acids aside from acetic are present, experiments will be conducted to develop a scale describing the response of the strip to the presence of formic acid. While A-D Strips will continue to react in the presence of any acid so that it will not be possible to identify whether the color changes are due to acetic, formic, or another acid, experiments into their reaction to formic acid will help to add to our scientific understanding of how the strips should be applied in contexts where another organic carbonyl is the concern. With additional testing, this tool can be appropriately used to perform preliminary screening of materials to be used in collection spaces as a complementary procedure to Oddy testing, as well as potentially inform their utilization in a broader range of applications for collections degradation and pollutant monitoring. 


Kelly McCauley Krish

Preventive Conservation Specialist, Image Permanence Institute
Kelly McCauley Krish, Preventive Conservation Specialist, joined IPI in May 2016 as part of the environmental management consulting team and to provide other preventive services. Kelly earned her MS in Art Conservation from the Winterthur- University of Delaware Program and a BA in... Read More →

avatar for Jean-Louis Bigourdan

Jean-Louis Bigourdan

Senior Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology
Jean-Louis Bigourdan is a senior research scientist at the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA. He has a background in Chemistry, photography and conservation of photographic materials. He received his diploma in the conservation... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 11:00am - 11:30am
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston


(Collection Care) Collaborative Project Between Museums - The Case Study of The National Museum of Taiwan Literature and Zhong Lihe Memorial Institute
In 2017,The National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) began a new project that focuses on preserving the collections of local museums by providing both collections management and preventative conservation education. The local museum staff will have the ability to preserve their collection independently through this project. The project has produced trilateral benefits on national museums, local museums and the public. The NMTL is the first national literary museum in Taiwan that works toward displaying the history of Taiwan literature and teaching civilians about their own historical literature. As the first official literary museum, the NMTL has the responsibility responsibility to assist and guide other local literary museums in developing and preserving Taiwan literature. The Zhong Lihe Memorial Institute ( ZLMI) is the first unofficial local literary museum established by a private legal institute, which occupies an important position in the field of Taiwan literature. The ZLMI houses not only the collections of significant Taiwanese authors, but specifically the collections of its namesake, Zhong Lihe. The collections provide evidence of Taiwan literary history and its developments. However, shortage of funds and lack of professional knowledge has left a gap in collections care. Their collections suffered because of an unsuitable storage environment and resource shortages. Due to this situation and the historic significance of the collection, the NMTL decided to use its greater funds and large professional staff to assist them in preserving their collections. During this project, we helped ZLMI to improve staff abilities in collection management by contributing our resources, such as professional knowledge, experiences and resources of preservation. We planned a series of programs helping them to develop collection management skills including improving their own collection system, teaching preservation and conservation knowledge, and improving the museum environment. Furthermore, the new collection system will now allow the staff to know the condition and the total amount of their objects. Secondly, we held education seminars to give local museum staff basic ideas about preservative conservation. Last but not least, we built a database of the ZLMI collection by digitally recording whole script collections. As a result the collections can be promoted and applied for research and education across Taiwan. The results show unparalleled success. Now the ZLMI has a comprehensive collection system. In addition, the staff have improved professional skills and management abilities to preserve collections. As for the NMTL, we now have access to the research resource of the ZLMI digital database collection. The case of collaboration with ZLMI is the first stage for a large-scale collaborative project, and the success of the ZLMI collaboration will be used to enact similar methods to assist other local literary museums in the future. As a result, NMTL can not only establish long-term collaborative partnership between NMTL and local museums, but also aid in the preservation of Taiwan’s literary history.


Jen Jung Ku

Senior Paper Conservator, National Museum of Taiwan Literature
Jen Jung Ku received a MA in paper conservation from the Tainan National University of the Arts Tainan National University of the Arts (2010). She undertook advanced internships and additional training at the George Eastman House and Library and Archives Canada .She is presently senior... Read More →
avatar for Chi-Chun Lin

Chi-Chun Lin

Object conservator, YL Conservation Studio
Chi-Chun Lin has worked an assistant conservator at National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) since 2015. She has managed three projects assisting museum staffs in NMTL to do object catalogue and management. In 2013, the Staffordshire Hoard Conservation team at the Birmingham Museum... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 11:30am - 12:00pm
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston