Worth Noting

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National Park Service and AIC Team Up for Wiki Work

In 1999 the National Park Service – Harpers Ferry Center – Division of Conservation published Exhibit Conservation Guidelines, written and compiled by Toby Raphael with major contributions from Nancy Davis and Kevin Brookes, with additional contributions from other NPS and non-NPS staff. The content was innovatively presented as a CD-ROM which allowed users to jump back and forth between narrative guidelines, technical notes, and case diagrams and illustrations. The publication also featured useful forms and checklists. Now that many of our computers no longer have a CD/DVD player, it has become increasingly hard to access this content, much of which remains useful 20 years later. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FAIC and the National Park Service has allowed AIC to make the content from the CD-ROM available online on the AIC Wiki at: www.conservation-wiki.com > Preventive Care > Exhibition Standards & Guidelines.

Visit the Exhibition standards and guide- lines section of the AIC Wiki at http://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/ Exhibition_Standards_&_Guidelines.

While the core of this text still provides important information, the pages should be viewed as a work in progress. The first stage of mounting the text and making it available is now complete. The second stage has begun; two working groups comprised of NPS staff, conservators, conservation scientists, exhibition design professionals, and others are editing and updating the text, and are adding links to recreate the utility of the original CD-ROM. This work will eventually extend to expanding content that represents best practices developed over the past two decades. Special thanks go to colleagues who helped mount the text online: Luisa Casella, Heather Emerson, Lisa Goldberg, Emma Guerard, and Roger Shaw Williams.

Please take a look at the material and let your exhibit design and collection care colleagues know that it is now accessible. For anyone interesting in working on editing and expanding the content, please contact Theresa Voellinger (theresa_voellinger@nps.gov) or Rachael Perkins Arenstein (rarenstein@culturalheritage.org) to indicate your interest in the Exhibit Guidelines Working Group.

The goal of Toby Raphael and his colleagues was to increase collaboration between museum professionals and facilitate the creation of exhibits that are safe for collections and engaging for our visitors. As we work to envision how our institutions will adapt to our current and future circumstances, these core concepts remain pertinent. We look forward to carrying this work forward with the input and support of the cultural heritage community.

—Rachael Arenstein (rarenstein@culturalheritage.org) and
Theresa Voellinger (

Conservators Host Free Cleaning Course via Zoom

Conservators in private practice Chris Stavroudis and Nina Roth-Wells hosted free Modular Cleaning Program (MCP) workshops in May for professional colleagues isolated at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. After announcing the workshop through the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC)’s Global Conservation Forum and AIC’s Member Communities, nearly 1,000 people participated in the course. Since their Zoom meetings were limited to 500 individuals, Chris and Nina held two sessions of the four day course.

Chris Stavroudis lecturing on the effect of pH on oxidized surfaces during aqueous cleaning, Courtesy of Lark London.


Nina Roth-Wells holding “office hours” through Zoom, courtesy of Tiarna Doherty.

The online MCP course included PowerPoint lectures on the theory behind aqueous cleaning systems in the MCP database. The practical mixing and testing of cleaning solutions, along with navigating the database, were demonstrated live and through short videos. The Zoom platform allowed for discussion, moderated by Nina through the Zoom Chat function. Nina also hosted afternoon “Office Hours” to allow for further live discussion with smaller groups.

In the second run of the workshop, Nina was joined by Tiarna Doherty. Tiarna had worked with Chris over 15 years ago to design the first MCP workshops, which continue to be offered internationally by Chris to conservators in all disciplines. Chris and Nina did an exceptional job in adapting the MCP workshop to an online platform, which accommodated a professional development opportunity for 1,000 people. Participants from five continents expressed their enthusiasm for the workshop content and appreciation for the opportunity to come together as a professional community.

—Tiarna Doherty, tiarnadoherty@gmail.com

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