May 3-7 - Pre-Sessions

Please note that some events require pre-registration. Click the Watch button in each session description to learn more.

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Monday, May 3 at 12:00 pm EDT
How Museums and Communities Collaborate for Loans: Adapting Museum Loan Standards to Reach Wider Audiences

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Overview

  • How Museums and Communities Collaborate for Loans: Adapting Museum Loan Standards to Reach Wider Audiences
    This session convenes museum conservators and allied professionals from both museums and tribal community centers around the country. This session will include presentations of individual case studies and longer-term, collaborative loan programs. Both lenders and borrowers will present an array of loan scenarios and creative solutions to encourage and support this important use of museum collections, including by borrowers, who may have previously been excluded because of strict museum loan procedures. The institutional support, procedures, and funding needed to support community loans will be discussed.

  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Tuesday, May 4 at 12:00 pm EDT
A Virtual Transformation of Couriering: The Role of the Conservator

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Overview

  • A Virtual Transformation of Couriering: The Role of the Conservator
    Virtual couriers have become a reality overnight for many institutions. In this panel we aim to examine the role conservators have to play in adapting loan practices and documentation to ensure the safety of the art during transit and installation/ deinstallation. Panelists will share early experiences and compare a variety of institutional approaches nationally and internationally, with practical tips, suggestions for improvement, and a survey of the current state of our field as institutions continue to re-open.
  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Wednesday, May 5 at 12:00 pm EDT
Leather Selection and Use: a panel discussion on the impact of conservators' choices

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Overview

  • Leather Selection and Use: a panel discussion on the impact of conservators' choices
    Leatherworkers face many choices regarding leather selection and use and there is little guidance regarding the ways these choices and subsequent actions could affect leather’s longevity. The Leather Discussion Group, formed in 2016 by book conservators, wants to expand the discussion to leather users and conservators across other disciplines. How do conservators across disciplines approach leather use? The primary focus of this panel discussion will be on leather added to the object during repair, such as when a book is re-backed, rather than consolidation or treatment of deteriorated leather.
  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Thursday, May 6 at 12:00 pm EDT
Socratic dialogue: Systematic racism, objects and monuments in cultural heritage conservation

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Overview

The year 2020 brought the problem of systematic racism in the United States and other former Western colonial powers explosively to the forefront. The cultural heritage conservation profession is now also confronted with the fact that, as noted in the AIC call for submissions, “racism has shaped our discipline from its beginning. And further, “we cannot shirk the work required to address it. It is time to transform cultural heritage conservation.”

Initiating and making this transformation will not be easy. Systematic racism in conservation is a broad and complex issue. Issues of diversity or questions of what to do with objects and monuments which are symbols of colonialism and slavery are being hotly debated, for example, in AIC community blogs and during recent annual conferences. Emotions run high, presenting a major obstacle to finding answers and solutions to dilemmas which are presented by these issues.

In the continuing series of such dialogues at AIC annual meetings, a Socratic dialogue is thus proposed for the 2021 annual meeting to investigate what lies behind such emotions when discussing issues of systematic racism in the conservation profession. The dialogue will focus on how conservation professionals deal with objects and monuments ranging from those enabled by the riches of colonial practices to those which outright glorify racial supremacy and colonial conquests.

Registration is limited to 48 participants.

Thursday, May 6 at 3:00 pm EDT
Paving the Path for Choosing Safe Materials for Display

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Overview

  • The Materials Selection and Specification Working Group: Paving the Path for Choosing Safe Materials for Display
    Placing collections on display assumes risk to the long-term preservation of the object with the trade-off that the piece is providing insight, appreciation, or fulfilment. But we also assume that the risk should not be larger than necessary or out of line with the benefits of exhibition. Choosing safe materials for the construction of cases and mounts is one of the variables that impact the preservation of an item on display. But with limitless possibilities in exhibition design comes a confusion of how to limit unnecessary damage. How do museum professionals make smart choices on what is safe to use? Where do we find the data that informs our decision making? To what resources can we turn?
  • View Abstracts and Speaker Bios: https://flame.firebird.systems...

Friday, May 7 at 12:00 pm EDT
String Cleaning: A Conservation Datathon to Get Your Data in Shape

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Overview

Join us for a workshop-style datathon event focused on reviewing and cleaning your existing data sets to prepare them for analysis and visualization. This three-hour event will feature a presentation of three easy-to-access tools used for data cleaning: Excel, OpenRefine, and RStudio. Participants will enter breakout sessions following the presentation to test out their selected tool on a provided data set. Each small group will be led by a volunteer expert available to answer questions and help participants understand the tool. Participants will return at the end of the program to share their findings, thoughts on the tools, and hear some additional tips from the experts. The pre-selected data set is a condition survey that covers common criteria for works of art on paper and it will be provided in a comma separated value (.csv) file exported from a collections database. Participants will learn how to use their selected tool to organize and clean the data, and to begin looking for trends and setting up for statistical tests and analysis. Registration for the event is free and participants are asked to pre-select the cleaning tool they would like to demo in the break-out portion of the event.


View Abstracts and Speaker Bios

Friday, May 7 at 5:00 pm EDT
Partner Event: SPNHC Opening Mixer

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Overview

Click Through Link - Not working  - use - 


Kumospace - spnhc2021


An opportunity to meet and chat in an informal and fun way via the Kumospace app.

Moderators: Greg Watkins-Colwell, Talia Karim, Shelley James

May 3-7 - Workshops

Advanced registration and additional fees required.

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Mon, May 3 at 12:00 pm EDT
Building Imaging Workflows

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Overview

Monday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 5 at 12-2pm Eastern Time
Instructor: Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton

This workshop will provide instruction and facilitate discussion about building an imaging workflow for conservation. Imaging workflows are an important part of conservation documentation because they provide consistency, require critical evaluation of goals, help new employees understand practices of a lab, and save time. Designing a workflow can be cumbersome and overwhelming. This workshop aims to simplify the structure of a workflow by providing building blocks that allow participants to tailor the structure to their needs and equipment. With a focus on treatment photography, discussion and lecture will emphasize object safety, repeatability, accuracy, and flexibility. 

Lecture and case-studies will give participants the basic structure and outline of an imaging workflow. Between the two sessions, participants will work independently or in groups to build a workflow for their unique equipment, space, and goals. Discussion of individual workflows in the second session will deepen participants' understanding of diverse imaging scenarios and equipment. 

This workshop is appropriate for all specialties and levels of experience. Individuals tasked with imaging of collections will benefit most, including emerging and established conservation professionals, pre-program students, and conservation photographers in institutions or private practice. Previous experience with photography of collections is suggested. Participants should come to the workshop with a list of current equipment used, descriptions and photographs of imaging spaces, and be prepared to discuss the goals of imaging in their work.

Speaker

Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton,

Mon, May 3 at 3:00 pm EDT
Stressed About Pests? Integrated Pest Management for Heritage Preservation Professionals

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Overview

Monday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 5 at 3-5pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Rachael Perkins Arenstein and Patrick Kelley

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) now considered an essential component of a well-rounded preventive care policy to prevent insects and vertebrate pests from causing irreversible damage to cultural heritage collections. This workshop will introduce participants to multiple aspects of sound IPM policy and procedures. After covering ideas for reducing the likelihood of infestation, the focus of the workshop will be on identifying the most damaging museum pests and understanding treatment options for infested items. The workshop is designed for anyone needing an intro to the topic or wanting to refresh basic IPM knowledge. Co-taught by an entymologist/pest management professional and a conservator, this workshop is appropriate for a range of museum, library professionals including conservators, facility staff, collection managers, registrars, librarians and archivists at museums, libraries and archivists.

Speakers

Rachael Perkins Arenstein,

Pat Kelley,

Tue, May 4 at 12:00 pm EDT
Strategic Management of Collections

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Overview

Tuesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 6 at 12-2pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Robert Huxley, Carol Butler, Christiane Quaisser

This workshop will help managers (new and established) with responsibility for collections to adopt an evidence-based approach to planning, executing and achieving their goals. The instructors will share their management experience, tools, and methodologies with participants through role-play and presentations to help them ask the right questions when planning a project or make improvements to day-to-day collections work. Participants step through the elements of a strategic plan from gathering and interpreting supporting data to creating an action plan, focusing along the way on key areas such as data gathering and interpretation and maximizing staff resources. 

This workshop brings the voices and the strategic approaches of three experts who have managed some of the largest and most diverse natural history collections in the world to participants seeking insight into strategic decision making beyond the typical rule book. While the primary audience for this workshop is those from a collections management background, the majority of the content will be of value to conservators with management responsibilities and those entering the sector from other disciplines or research background. It is about asking the right questions, not necessarily knowing all the answers.

Speakers

Carol Butler,

Robert Huxley,

Christiane Quaisser,

Tue, May 4 at 3:00 pm EDT
Identification and Preservation of Archival Materials::Recording of Session 1

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Overview

Tuesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 6 at 3-5pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Tatiana Cole, Allison Holcomb

Archives often contain crucial documentation which supports the understanding and context of museum collections. Caring for these collections appropriately is important to long-term access and maintenance but is often complicated by the wide variety of needs from different types of materials. Identifying media and choosing the right solutions for housing can help prevent physical and chemical damage, as well as maintain organization and facilitate handling.

This workshop will allow participants to identify archival materials and plan for long-term preservation. The instructors will provide an overview of preservation threats to different types of archival collections with emphasis on identifying media and preventing deterioration and loss of information. Oversized materials, photo-reproductions such as blueprints and diazotypes, a variety of office copying techniques, and photographic media will be discussed.

This workshop will incorporate current standards and best practices to help collection managers, emerging conservation professionals, and other museum professionals master identification, preventive conservation, and housing for archival materials.

Speakers

Tatiana Cole,

Allison Holcomb,

Wed, May 5 at 12:00 pm EDT
Building Imaging Workflows

Attend
Overview

Monday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 5 at 12-2pm Eastern Time
Instructor: Jennifer McGlinchey Sexton

This workshop will provide instruction and facilitate discussion about building an imaging workflow for conservation. Imaging workflows are an important part of conservation documentation because they provide consistency, require critical evaluation of goals, help new employees understand practices of a lab, and save time. Designing a workflow can be cumbersome and overwhelming. This workshop aims to simplify the structure of a workflow by providing building blocks that allow participants to tailor the structure to their needs and equipment. With a focus on treatment photography, discussion and lecture will emphasize object safety, repeatability, accuracy, and flexibility. 

Lecture and case-studies will give participants the basic structure and outline of an imaging workflow. Between the two sessions, participants will work independently or in groups to build a workflow for their unique equipment, space, and goals. Discussion of individual workflows in the second session will deepen participants' understanding of diverse imaging scenarios and equipment. 

This workshop is appropriate for all specialties and levels of experience. Individuals tasked with imaging of collections will benefit most, including emerging and established conservation professionals, pre-program students, and conservation photographers in institutions or private practice. Previous experience with photography of collections is suggested. Participants should come to the workshop with a list of current equipment used, descriptions and photographs of imaging spaces, and be prepared to discuss the goals of imaging in their work.

Wed, May 5 at 3:00 pm EDT
Stressed About Pests? Integrated Pest Management for Heritage Preservation Professionals

Attend
Overview

Monday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 5 at 3-5pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Rachael Perkins Arenstein and Patrick Kelley

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) now considered an essential component of a well-rounded preventive care policy to prevent insects and vertebrate pests from causing irreversible damage to cultural heritage collections. This workshop will introduce participants to multiple aspects of sound IPM policy and procedures. After covering ideas for reducing the likelihood of infestation, the focus of the workshop will be on identifying the most damaging museum pests and understanding treatment options for infested items. The workshop is designed for anyone needing an intro to the topic or wanting to refresh basic IPM knowledge. Co-taught by an entymologist/pest management professional and a conservator, this workshop is appropriate for a range of museum, library professionals including conservators, facility staff, collection managers, registrars, librarians and archivists at museums, libraries and archivists.

Speakers

Rachael Perkins Arenstein,

Pat Kelley,

Thu, May 6 at 12:00 pm EDT
Strategic Management of Collections

Attend
Overview

Tuesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 6 at 12-2pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Robert Huxley, Carol Butler, Christiane Quaisser

This workshop will help managers (new and established) with responsibility for collections to adopt an evidence-based approach to planning, executing and achieving their goals. The instructors will share their management experience, tools, and methodologies with participants through role-play and presentations to help them ask the right questions when planning a project or make improvements to day-to-day collections work. Participants step through the elements of a strategic plan from gathering and interpreting supporting data to creating an action plan, focusing along the way on key areas such as data gathering and interpretation and maximizing staff resources. 

This workshop brings the voices and the strategic approaches of three experts who have managed some of the largest and most diverse natural history collections in the world to participants seeking insight into strategic decision making beyond the typical rule book. While the primary audience for this workshop is those from a collections management background, the majority of the content will be of value to conservators with management responsibilities and those entering the sector from other disciplines or research background. It is about asking the right questions, not necessarily knowing all the answers.

Speakers

Carol Butler,

Robert Huxley,

Christiane Quaisser,

Thu, May 6 at 3:00 pm EDT
Identification and Preservation of Archival Materials

Attend
Overview

Tuesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 6 at 3-5pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Tatiana Cole, Allison Holcomb

Archives often contain crucial documentation which supports the understanding and context of museum collections. Caring for these collections appropriately is important to long-term access and maintenance but is often complicated by the wide variety of needs from different types of materials. Identifying media and choosing the right solutions for housing can help prevent physical and chemical damage, as well as maintain organization and facilitate handling.

This workshop will allow participants to identify archival materials and plan for long-term preservation. The instructors will provide an overview of preservation threats to different types of archival collections with emphasis on identifying media and preventing deterioration and loss of information. Oversized materials, photo-reproductions such as blueprints and diazotypes, a variety of office copying techniques, and photographic media will be discussed.

This workshop will incorporate current standards and best practices to help collection managers, emerging conservation professionals, and other museum professionals master identification, preventive conservation, and housing for archival materials.

Speakers

Tatiana Cole,

Allison Holcomb,

Fri, May 7 at 12:00 pm EDT
How to Label and Mark Your Collections

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Overview

Friday, May 7 at 12-2pm Eastern Time
Instructors: Eugenie Milroy, Fran Ritchie

Discretely and effectively labeling and marking museum collections with the catalog number (and/or other details) prevents one of the leading risk factors to collections: disassociation of objects. Museum collections must be legibly labeled for the purposes of keeping track of the physical location as well associated data and provenance specific to that object. If the label is not legible, if it is lost or damaged, or if it fails in any way, the consequences can be catastrophic and disheartening - at best, the number is visually distracting to the museum visitor and detracts from the value of the object, and at worst the object is rendered useless to scientific or historical study.

 This workshop will prepare participants for the decision-making process involved when choosing among the variety of techniques available to label complex collections. Instructors will begin with an overview of the standard materials used for labeling and marking, and how to choose which method would be most appropriate, based on the object substrate (such as organic, inorganic, over-sized, micro, and wet specimens). Participants will be mailed kits with course materials that will allow them to then test the adhesive and mechanical techniques on different objects, with instructors on hand virtually to offer advice and tips for success in the moment. The workshop will conclude with a group discussion on observations and questions.

 This workshop is geared towards natural history museum professionals and emerging conservation professionals who have not had labeling and marking experience – a valuable but often overlooked aspect of conservation training. Cost of materials is included in registration fee. Registration will close on March 19 to allow for supplies to be ordered and sent to participants.

Speakers

Eugenie Milroy,

Fran Ritchie,