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6. Specialty Session [clear filter]
Saturday, June 2

2:00pm MDT

(Sustainability) Access to Shared Knowledge: Developing a Sustainable Workflow for Archiving Collaborative Engagement Documentation at NMAI’s Conservation Department
Collaborative engagements with Native artists and other community members give conservators insight into the meaning of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and inform conservation practice.  This presentation introduces a newly developed workflow for archiving documentation from such collaborative engagements at the National Museum of American Indian (NMAI) and presents the underlying thought processes and challenges.  Such engagements may happen through consultations, workshops, or place-based education; the goal is to develop long-term relationships.  Over the past two decades, the NMAI Conservation Department has held numerous collaborative events and compiled copious amounts of documentation of the department’s work with Native stakeholders and other experts. Documentation materials include mostly born-digital media such as photographs, transcripts, and audio and visual files. While analog references in form of project binders have been accessible in NMAI’s conservation library, the associated digital media was held on CD’s and a shared network drive - difficult to access, organize, and use.  This project began with an evaluation of these assets, which revealed that although existing documentation is extensive, there are no active protocols to systematize and archive collaborative engagement documentation to ensure maintenance, accessibility, and utility for Native stakeholders, researchers, and the museum.
Developing a standardized protocol for the documentation of NMAI’s conservation consultations and new routines for media production will contribute to a targeted documentation approach that allows for structured outcomes. Utilizing Smithsonian’s Digital Assets Management System (DAMS) to archive those assets that are not object-based but provide context for collections, will ensure long-term accessibility of the media and if appropriate, allows for delivery of assets for external use in the future. The systematic use of NMAI’s Collections Information System database (CIS) will lay the foundation to locate specific object-based information from collaborative engagement events.   
The workflow developed for this project allows for anyone in the conservation department to document and archive ongoing and future collaborative engagement events as part of a routine process.  The goal is to provide a useful model for other institutions engaged in similar collaborative efforts. 

avatar for Diana Gabler

Diana Gabler

Research Fellow in Conservation, National Museum of the American Indian
Diana Gabler holds a Diploma (MA) in Conservation of Archaeological, Ethnographic and Decorated Arts Objects from the State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart, Germany. She is currently Research Fellow in Conservation at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Washington... Read More →

Saturday June 2, 2018 2:00pm - 2:30pm MDT
Hunters Creek Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston

2:30pm MDT

(Sustainability) A collaborative web platform for designing green museum storages
Could the characteristics of small-scale institutions (SSIs) – the necessity of social innovation, the need for cost-effective solutions – help us designing sustainable practices in the preservation field? We compared recent methods for enhancing preservation conditions. Some promote preventive conservation practices (e.g.: RE-ORG (1)), others advocate a transition towards sustainability (e.g.: The Green Museum by Sarah Brophy (2)). The methods were selected for their newness, low price, the existence of case studies and their applicability in the SSIs context. Our aim was to help SSIs professionals to assess their problems of storage in a sustainable way. We created Réserve durable, a collaborative website, to share our analysis.

Cornerstone of the museum’s mission, the storage is a place where preservation requirements justify high financial costs and energy consumption (3). At the same time, cultural institutions worldwide are missing financial, human and time-related resources. SSIs situations are usually even worse. Furthermore, coming EU laws will leave no choice to cultural institutions but to invest in nearly-zero-energy buildings (NZEB) for building or renovating their facilities (6). Despite the fact that several tools for implementing green practices are available, and despite the advantages that “Going green” could offer them, sustainability is often at the bottom of the SSIs priority list.

Thanks to a survey addressed to Belgian SSIs, we defined their characteristics and needs in terms of conservation practices. That led to the creation of Réserve durable (7), which compares the above methods in light of the survey results. We propose a reflexive model of SSIs management combining “Going green” and state-of-the-art preservation methods such as RE-ORG.

(1) RE-ORG – Tools for Museum Storage Reorganization and Documentation Systems, RE-ORG project website (online) (available on: http://www.iccrom.org/section/preventive-conservation/re-org, consulted on July 26, 2017).
(2) BROPHY (Sarah), WYLIE (Elizabeth), The Green museum, a primer on environmental practice, Altamire Press, Danvers, 2008, 226 p.
(3) A recent study led by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), showed that the HVAC system consumption costs by itself 20k$ to 50k$ per year for a 900 m2 museum floor space. IMAGE PERMANENCE INSTITUTE, IPI’s Guide to: Sustainable Preservation Practices for managing storage environments, version 2.0, Image Permanence Institute (IPI), New York, 2012, p. 3.
(4) ICCROM, UNESCO, “ICCROM – UNESCO International Storage Survey 2011, Summary of results”, 2011, on the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) website (online) (available on:  http://www.iccrom.org/sites/default/files/ICCROM-UNESCO%20International%20Storage%20Survey%202011_en.pdf, consulted on July 26, 2017).
(5) According to Gaël de Guichen, expert at ICCROM for 47 years. DE GUICHEN (Gaël), "Reorganizing Museum storage : an 80-year journey… and still a way to go!" in International RE-ORG Seminar, Reconnecting with Collections in Storage, Institut Royal du Patrimoine artistique (KIK/IRPA), Brussels, September 28-29, 2016.
(6) Directive PEB (2010/31/UE), LUE, 2010, art. 9.
(7) Réserve durable (online) (available on: https://reservedurable.miraheze.org/wiki/Accueil, consulted on July 26, 2017).

avatar for Estelle De Bruyn

Estelle De Bruyn

Preservation scientist, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA)
Estelle just completed her master's degree in ENSAV La Cambre (Brussels, Belgium) in paper conservation. She specialized in preservation through internships at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA, Brussels), the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI, Ottawa) and the... Read More →

Saturday June 2, 2018 2:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
Hunters Creek Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston

3:00pm MDT

(Sustainability) Digital Collections Storage: Surveying The Landscape
2018 finds the field of Time-Based Media Conservation in a key moment of transition and growth. With the 20th anniversary of AIC's Electronic Media Group having recently past, and the decade old programs of Time-Based Media Conservation at pioneering institutions now at a point of maturity, a new wave of small and medium sized institutions and other art world stakeholders are beginning to come online and address the aspects of institutional growth and evolution that are required in order to properly care for Time-Based Media Art. A significant challenge for these stakeholders – some of which have already been actively collecting for decades – is the establishment of digital collections storage. Art storage is a high-stakes endeavor from a risk perspective, and architecting viable long-term digital storage solutions requires a specialist skillset. Perhaps the most challenging dimension of this new area of stewardship, however, is its long-term financial implications. On the ground, there is a broad spectrum of ways in which art-world stakeholders – institutions, galleries, collectors, artists – are finding the balance between digital preservation best practices, and financially and operationally sustainable solutions. The aim of this paper is to provide a snapshot of where the field stands in 2018, providing a rigorous and statistics-driven survey of how art-world stakeholders are meeting this new challenge, and where they are in their journey towards digital collections storage.

Saturday June 2, 2018 3:00pm - 3:30pm MDT
Hunters Creek Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston

3:30pm MDT

(Sustainability) Change in Collection Management Strategy with Climate Change Phenomenon in Thar Desert
In developing countries, where in general museums and private art collectors do not have facilities of climate control system for their art heritage collection, they keep collections either in storage or in display galleries to face surrounding climate and get acclimatize for years. The Western part of India comes under thousands of miles of Thar Desert and it is dotted with several large and small museums including family museums and art heritage galleries with highly valuable and rare heritage collection. Dry climatic conditions in this region have been a major advantage for art heritage as it slows down deterioration process and minimizes biological activities; as a result, precious art heritage including sensitive paper objects survived for so many years even without climate control system. But for the last several decades, weather in this region is changing very fast and the Thar Desert is drifting away from its dry climatic characteristics and becoming wetter year by year, raising concern for all walks of life, including art heritage collections. Every year regular increase in rainfall is pumping excess moisture in air and soil and creating favorable condition for more biological activity and art material deterioration. In this alarming situation of climate change, all respective museums and art collectors need to pay attention and go through fresh collection management strategy and create an action plan to cope with this lethal change and save precious heritage for the next generations. 

avatar for Vikram S. Rathore

Vikram S. Rathore

Deputy Manager, Conservation Center, Mehrangarh Museum
Vikram S. Rathore is currently working as Deputy Manager at Conservation center, Mehrangarh Museum, India with specialization in Paper conservation, precious miniature paintings in particular. He is actively involved in conservation center’s various projects, including prestigious... Read More →

Saturday June 2, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm MDT
Hunters Creek Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston