Collection Care Network Program for Montreal

The Collection Care Network has been busy! We are highlighting the connections CCN has developed with some of our allied preservation professionals. We are delighted to team with the Canadian Association for Conservation/Association Canadienne pour la Conservation et la Restauration (CAC-ACCR) to bring you these collection care offerings.
This year we thought, why not start early, even before the meeting officially starts. Our colleagues at the International Association of Museum Facilities Administrators (IAMFA) thought this was a good idea too. AIC, CAC-ACCR and IAMFA have developed a dynamic and interactive pre-meeting seminar that focuses on some of the concerns we share.
Share the Care: Collaborative Preservation Approaches, Friday, May 13, 2016, 9:00 am – 5:30pm
This seminar delves into the concepts of shared risk and responsibility of allied preservation professionals. The following topics will be considered through this lens: interacting among the professional groups, reviewing institutional emergency plans, surveying the current state of environmental guidelines, considering the existing international environmental guideline standards.
Choosing and Implementing an Automatic Fire Suppression System for a Collecting Institution, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
This special half-day session is the second part of the pre-meeting session hosted by AIC, CAC-ACCR, and IAMFA. The program will introduce attendees to the different types of automatic fire suppression systems available, evaluation criteria for each system, and implementation guidelines and considerations for collecting institutions.
This pre-session has a separate registration from the national meeting. For registration details for this special pre-meeting session consult:
Another pre-conference offering continues our successful collaboration and expansion of the original content provided by the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC). We’re hosting the third installment of:
STASH Flash, Saturday, May 14, 2016, 3:30pm – 5:30pm. This session is FREE with regular meeting registration.Join your fellow colleagues for a lightening round of storage tips. Submissions are being solicited around three topics:

  1. Building on this year’s program theme Emergency! Preparing for Disasters and Confronting the Unexpected in Conservation  the program will present storage solutions that were either specifically designed to mitigate against the threat of a disaster or inappropriate environment, or presentations that assess how rehousing solutions performed in protecting (or not protecting) collections in a disaster or emergency event.
  2. The second proposed theme focuses on multi-function supports serving more than one purpose, such as storage, storage, travel and/or exhibition purposes.
  3. General presentations on innovative storage solutions for individual or collection group. To read more about the session and how to submit an idea for a short five-minute tip presentation visit the STASH website.

Next, join us for the Collection Care sessions. The first installment is planned for Sunday, May 15, 2016 with the second Tuesday, May 17, 2016. This year’s program covers an extraordinary wide range of collection care topics whose solution is frequently rests in the cooperation and input from a diverse group of allied preservation professionals.
Collection Care Session I, Sunday, May 15, 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
This session will cover topics that include: risk management, considering loss of value in a collection, facing institutional change while maintaining consistency, planning pitfalls during construction projects, considering art and noise, designing exhibition HVAC in historic buildings.
Collection Care Session II, Tuesday, May 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Speakers in this session will discuss collaborative preservation training; unforeseen hazards of implementing emergency training, planning for emergencies at archaeological sites, and lessons learned creating emergency planning for international partners.
Consider meeting for lunch! There are two opportunities to hear about recent work in collection care while enjoying lunch. Advance registration and additional fees apply.
On Sunday, May 15, the Collection Care Network Lunch will focus on collection care issues that have arisen from content developed for the upcoming book, Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage, a partnership publication by AIC, SPNHC, Smithsonian Institution and George Washington University. Expected publication date, October 2016.
On Monday, May 16 IMLS staff will conduct a lunch presentation focusing on the 2014 Heritage Health Index. Tune in to hear about developments in IMLS’s continuing support of collections care and conservation. Hear about the launch of a new national conservation assessment program for collections care in small and medium-sized museums. And hear highlights of models, tools, and other resources recently developed by IMLS-funded Collections Stewardship projects.
The full conference schedule can be found at
Meet me in Montreal!
Gretchen Guidess
AIC Collection Care Network

AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting – Collection Care Network Brainstorming Session: Table 3 – Traveling exhibits & collection care training

The last presentation of the Outreach to Allies Session at the AIC Annual Meeting 2012 was an interactive session organized by the Collection Care Network. The leadership team of the network designed it as a way to identify priorities and projects for the network. Imagine nine groups of 7 to 9 people sitting around tables discussing the content of nine different short videos. Each video presented a collection care challenge or question. The discussion aimed to suggest projects the Collection Care Network could develop that would provide tools to overcome the challenge or answer the question. Now imagine people engaged in conversation. This post covers some of the conversation at Table 3. Look for the other 8 posts if you would like to review all the discussions.

Table Three: The discussion at the table focused on how to provide more access to collection care information delivered in an efficient and effective way. As a professional beginning in the field I was interested in learning about the many resources and approaches that already exist and what my colleagues found best suited to the needs of the audience.

The video: Emma Westling, Touring Exhibits Coordinator for the Museum of Science, Boston outlined her duties at the Museum and her work touring exhibits to various venues. She wished to have access to previously developed training materials to educate and provide professional development for institutions that may not have dedicated collections professionals. She pointed out that staff could improve collection care for their own collections as well as for loaned objects in their care.

The discussion: Although we began by considering loan shows to institutions with staff that may have a limited knowledge about a particular type of object or material, the discussions moved to discussing the intended audience. From diverse backgrounds, they bring a range of expertise to preservation. They meet the daily challenges of finding sufficient time, money, and staff hours to carry out their work. In time are conversation transitioned into what were some of the best ways to engage and to meet the needs of this audience. We talked about how training for its own sake was a worthy goal, but when faced with the numerous demands competing for time and resources, a more strategic approach is required. Those who had developed on-line resources and presented programs and seminars found that successful programming hinges on delivering information at the moment individuals are looking for it. The challenge is using methods that get the right information to the intended audience at the right time.

The ideas for Collection Care Network projects:

  • Create a free and searchable on-line resource that organizes the collection care information and training available to the preservation community.
  • Develop a knowledge base on specialized topics with content provided by experts in that area.
  • Build a forum to foster interactivity.

The contributors: Moderator – Gretchen Guidess; Note Taker: Patti Dambaugh; Table participants: Kathy Francis, Kristen Laise, Chris McAfee, Kay Söderlund, Sarah Stauderman