Mobile Technology for Conservation

The Washington Conservation Guild is a  professional organization for conservators in the Washington DC area.  Every January we hold a mini-conference the “3-Ring” meeting which offers three series of programs on three different topics.  This year my fellow Guild member Lisa Young and I developed a “Mobile Technology for Conservation” Ring.  The capabilities of mobile technology are growing by leaps and bounds and we wanted to share the ways in which people are using mobile technology and encourage our colleagues to explore the world of tablets and Apps and perhaps report back next year.

The first presentation was by Amber Kerr-Allison, a paintings conservator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Lunder Conservation Center.  Amber has been using an iPad and the App PDF Notes to do on-site condition assessments of paintings.

The second presentation was by Jenny Wiley of Heritage Preservation.  When I started looking for Apps to feature at this session, one of my first thoughts was “wouldn’t it be nifty if the Disaster Wheel was an App?”, and in a delightful coincidence, the response from Heritage Preservation was, “Yes, it’s in beta testing right now”.

The third presentation was by me and Lisa.  We talked about various Apps we had found to be useful in our daily conservation work; I like the free light meter App for iPhone and Lisa likes molecule and plastics related Apps.  I had iPads and an Asus droid tablet loaded with demo Apps for people to experiment with after the talk.  We were not trying to present a definitive list but rather ideas for getting started and exploring this rapidly growing world.