Job Posting: Historic Preservation Specialist, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (Harrisburg, PA, USA)

Applications are due October 26, 2016.
This professional position within the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), is responsible for the development, processing, and management of records pertaining to historic properties and the ongoing management of electronic data. This position assists the SHPO with supporting and promoting the Commonwealth’s archaeological site survey records including maintaining the integrity of archaeological site and survey information in the Cultural Resources Geographic Information System (CRGIS) and promoting and facilitating recordation of new sites in order to assist the SHPO, other agencies, and the public in evaluating the archaeological resources within the Commonwealth.

  • Assists the SHPO with developing and maintaining a long-term data management and Geographic Information System (GIS) vision and strategy.
  • Assists in fulfilling the SHPO’s GIS needs including cartography, data management, and ensures the quality and utility of spatial data and products.
  • Acquires, prepares, and maintains spatial data from a variety of sources.
  • Digitizes data from the SHPO’s legacy paper records and all newly recorded cultural resources into a GIS program.
  • Assists in the development and maintenance of the SHPO’s new data management system.
  • Assists in computerized mapping of cultural resources including archaeological site and survey, from both paper and outside electronic sources; entry and updating of resource information; and facilitating the scanning, processing, and storage of resource images for linkage into the SHPO’s cultural resource database (CRGIS) and conversion of data to any newly-determined platforms.
  • Conducts projects to analyze legacy data. This can result in updating information to meet current standards and needs and/or providing new interpretations. This includes historic research and evaluation and may include guiding and assisting interns or other researchers.
  • Develops and provides public information about cultural resources through research, analysis, and development of web content, conference and educational programs, and periodic reports.
  • Provides information and assistance to citizens and agencies involved in the identification and survey of archaeological resources to prepare resource information and documentation for inclusion in the CRGIS.
  • Undertakes daily maintenance of electronic systems including: bug reporting/tracking, system testing, assisting internal and external customers, and monitor mailboxes (review and respond or distribute incoming emails and/or messages as required).
  • Designs and produces publication-quality maps and other visual products for internal use, for reports, and for external distribution.
  • Extracts data from the CRGIS to fill data requests and working with other agencies to facilitate data sharing agreements.
  • Works with the public and local preservation partners on developing/updating site recordation methodology.
  • Coordinates archaeological collections data management with the State Museum of Pennsylvania.
  • Provides training on recordation techniques and data collection and the preparation and maintenance of paper and electronic records.
  • Participates in the evaluation of the significance of cultural resources and their eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Assists in the maintenance of permanent paper files of the historic and archaeological surveys.
  • Prepares information on records management or digital archive activities as needed.
  • Participates in continuing education opportunities to maintain proficiency in current practices associated with the conversion, formatting, indexing, and integration of legacy documents to digital formats.
  • Performs others duties as required to maintain the SHPO’s cultural resource database.
  • Adheres to Commonwealth and PHMC general safety rules and any specific to this position and immediately corrects any safety hazards in the work area and report same to supervisor.

This position is filled through a Non-Civil Service process coordinated through the Bureau of State Employment (BSE).  All applications must go through BSE’s employment website at  We cannot accept any applications directly.  Please see below how to apply:
From, click on the Job Opportunities tab under Non-Civil Service. Scroll to the chart and select the position titled “Historic Preservation Specialist”.  If interested, click on “Apply.” If you are not currently registered with NEOGOV, you may create an account and apply for this or any other listed category.  Registration is free.  Returning applicants should enter their current username and password, and follow the steps to create a profile and apply under Historic Preservation Specialist category. If you have any questions during the application process, please contact the Bureau of State Employment at (717) 787-5703.
Required Experience:
Two or more years of experience working on an architectural survey, an architectural restoration and preservation project or program, and a bachelor’s degree in architectural history, American history, art history or course work in Pennsylvania history; OR Any equivalent combination of experience and training.
Additional Information:
Employment Type:  Permanent, Full-Time
Location:  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Compensation:  $45,692-$69,477/annually
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is proud to be an equal opportunity employer supporting workplace diversity.

Job Posting: Director of Historic Preservation and Museums (Hartford, CT, USA)

Department of Economic and Community Development
State Historic Preservation Office
Director of Historic Preservation and Museums
Open To: The Public
Location: One Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103
Job Posting No: 11409
Hours: Full time, 40 hours per week
Salary: Grade MP-65 ($86,813 – $118,362 annual)
Closing Date: October 3, 2016—applications must be received no later than 5:00 PM
Eligibility Requirement
This is an unclassified, management position open to all applicants who meet the experience and training requirements established in the DAS Class Specification for class code 2562, which can be viewed by accessing this link
General Information
Reporting to the Director of Culture, and serving as the Deputy, the Director of Historic Preservation and Museums will assist in administering the historic preservation and museum initiatives of the agency to preserve and promote the state’s significant historic assets and to coordinate with other local, state and federal programs to incorporate historic properties and cultural strategies with Connecticut’s overall economic development.
Essential Functions
Refer to Examples of Duties listed on DAS Class Specification 2562. Specific functions include:

  • Directing and evaluating the staff of the State Historic Preservation Office and the staff of all DECD State Museums.
  • Managing the daily operations of historic preservation and museum initiatives and programs.
  • Planning, coordinating, analyzing and managing cultural programs, activities and publicity.
  • Interpreting and administering pertinent laws, developing (or assists with developing) pertinent policies, and assuring compliance with all federal and state requirements for historic preservation.
  • Designing and implementing programs for the field of historic preservation, restoration, education, tax credits and technical assistance.
  • Overseeing the operations of agency-operated museums, including capital improvement projects.
  • Preparing budgets and reports, such as the Historic Preservation Fund annual application and year-end report.
  • Negotiating and administering contracts.
  • Serving as Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer and as liaison to the Historic Preservation Council and State Historic Review Board, and representing the agency at meetings of professional and community organizations.
  • Participating in meetings of the Culture and Tourism Advisory Committee.
  • Acting on behalf of Director of Culture in his or her absence, and performing related duties whenever necessary.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Considerable knowledge of and ability to apply management principles and techniques; considerable knowledge of relevant state and federal laws, statutes and regulations; considerable knowledge of preservation policy and economic development incorporating historic assets; considerable knowledge of research source materials; considerable knowledge of American history with particular emphasis on history and architectural history of Connecticut; knowledge of cultural strategies; knowledge of principles of museum administration and curatorial practices; considerable oral and written communication skills; interpersonal skills; supervisory ability.
General Experience Nine (9) years of professional experience in the study, research and preservation of historic sites, structures, artifacts, and administration/management of programs related to these fields.
Preferred Experience
As this is an upper-level management position, a degree in historic preservation or a closely related field combined with at least five (5) years of experience in an administrative capacity is preferred. Experience managing museums is preferred.
Application Instructions
Interested and qualified applicants should submit a cover letter that describes their interest and suitability for the position, a resume, and an Application for Employment (Form CT-HR-12) to:
Joe Olender, Human Resources Specialist
Department of Administrative Services, Small Agency Resource Team—SmART Unit
165 Capitol Avenue, 5th Floor East, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Confidential Fax (preferred method of submission): 860-622-2833
Materials may be attached to email and sent to
The State of Connecticut is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities

44th Annual Meeting—Book and Paper Session, May 16, “A Low-Oxygen Capable Storage and Display Case for the Proclamation of the Constitution Act & Design of a Counterbalance Supporting Mount for the Book of Remembrance, Michael Smith and Eric Hagan

A Low-Oxygen Capable Storage and Display Case for the Proclamation of the Constitution Act
The first half of the talk was presented by Michael Smith, Collection Manager, Textual and Cartographic, Unpublished and Unbound, Library and Archives Canada, who discussed the construction of storage and display cases for the two original copies of the Proclamation of the Constitution Act.
There are two original copies of the important document, sometimes referred to as the “raindrop” and the “red-stain” copies. It was raining on April 17, 1982 when Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act outdoors, and raindrops smudged the ink on one copy. The other copy, signed later indoors, was pristine until July 22, 1983 when Peter Greyson, a young art student from Toronto, requested to see the document at the Public Archives of Canada under the pretense of studying its design and calligraphy. As he leaned over the document, a pool of red substance spread over its surface. This was later found to be red paint coming from an Elmers glue bottle hidden in Greyson’s coat pocket. Greyson had defaced the Proclamation of the Constitution Act to protest a decision allowing the United States to test cruise missiles over Canadian air space. Conservation attempts to remove the stain from the paper were unsuccessful, and while suggestions were made to cut out the damaged area and replace it with a newly inscribed piece, the decision was made to keep the stain rather than carryout out a procedure would affect the document’s authenticity and integrity. The act of vandalism was the first time a document in the Public Archives of Canada had been willfully damaged, dramatically changing security and viewing procedures at the Archives.
The inks on both copies of the document were tested for light sensitivity, and studies concluded that the ink was extremely light sensitive. While designing the case for the Act in collaboration with CCI, Michael decided to segregate preservation components from security components, reasoning that it was stored in a secure vault for the majority of the time where security requirements would be fulfilled. The storage case with built-in compartments for silica gel and activated charcoal was designed to control humidity and oxygen levels, using OptiView™ UV filter/anti-glare glass to reduce UV levels. The document was secured in place using custom magnetic clips. The case was fitted with a Marvelseal® bag that expanded or contracted in relation to the atmospheric pressure in order to reduce stress on the glass. A display case was then designed to limit light exposure and for security during exhibition, using a layer of security glass, VariGuard Smart Glass™, and a top layer of glass for scratch protection. The VariGuard Smart Glass™ remains opaque to block light levels until a button is pressed to make the glass clear. In combination, the storage and display case made up two halves of one system for the security and preservation of the documents.
Design of a Counterbalance Supporting Mount for the Book of Remembrance
Eric Hagan, a conservation scientist at CCI in the Preservation Services Division, presented the second half of the talk on the design of mounts for seven books of remembrances displayed in the Memorial Chamber on Parliament Hill. A high profile project to craft six new altars for the books using stone, bronze and glass led to a condition assessment of the books by Christine McNair, who recommended a better support system for the books when displayed. As the pages of the books are turned daily during the Turning of the Page Ceremony, the books have to be fully movable and go through a range of motion. To provide suitable support for these working books was a fascinating design challenge.
The counterbalance support system for the First World War book served as an inspiration for the versions used to support the remaining books. Eric’s new design relied on a linkage connection using four bars to form a gravity-activated mechanism, mirroring the motion of the book while the leaves were being turned. The low-profile mounts were each made of 24 pieces of custom-made aluminium parts and other parts sourced from outside Canada. A different design for each book had to be made due to varying dimensions. A surface of bonded Volara® foam was used to provide cushioning for the books. Eric ended his talk by describing the completion of the mounts with a black powder-coated fabric cover. It was amusing how he thought the anodized aluminium was quite appealing, and had not thought of the need to make a cover until the topic was raised up! A difference in aesthetics—I suppose the sleek, matte-black look of the aluminium did not match the more traditional look of the Memorial Chamber.
It was fascinating to listen to Michael and Eric describing their problem-solving process to deal with the requirements and challenges they faced. I was particularly intrigued by Eric’s counterbalance support mount, since a book cradle that adjusts according to how a book opens seems to be the dream everyone tries to achieve in book supports. While the mounts were amazing, the high profile project of the Books of Remembrance meant that there wasn’t really a budget limit. In hopes of finding a more affordable solution, I asked Eric afterwards what the previous supports for the books were like, but was told that none had been used before—hence a real need for the new supports! I’m curious how sensitive the mounts are, and whether they only respond to the movement of the books they were made specifically for. The concept of a cradle that adjusts its shape according to the book could possible be great for digitization projects or for the idea of reusable cradles.

42nd Annual Meeting – Collection Care Session, May 29, “The Ossabaw Island Workshops – Preventive Conservation Training in a Real Life Setting” by David Bayne

Since 2010, there have been four Preventive Conservation workshops on Ossabaw Island, three of which have been generously funded by FAIC. These workshops have provided a unique training experience for both emerging conservation professionals and pre-program students.
Background and History of the Island
Ossabaw Island is a 26,000-acre remote barrier island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. It has five residents, and may only be accessed by private boat. It is mostly wilderness, but there are some very interesting historic buildings, including some slave cabins of tabby construction (a technique using oyster shells, sand, and water as the mortar ingredients), the Club House (c. 1885) – where lectures take place and participants are housed, and the Torrey-West House or the “Main House” – where the actual work is carried out.
Dr. and Mrs. Torrey bought the island in 1924 and had a house built there to be their family’s winter home to escape the harsh winters of their native Michigan. The house was completed in 1926, and the Torreys spent four months (January – April) there each year afterward. The current owner of the house is Mrs. Eleanor “Sandy” Torrey West, who is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Torrey and is currently 101 years old.
In 1961, Mrs. West and her husband started an artist colony, where writers, artists, and composers could come stay in the Wests’ home and be inspired by the island’s natural beauty and tranquility. In the 1970s, this evolved into the Genesis Project, where college students and less-established artists came to work on various projects. The Genesis participants were more self-sufficient and built settlements, cooking/dining/washing facilities, and a pottery kiln at an area of the island called “Middle Place.”
With her money running out, Mrs. West decided to sell the island to the state of Georgia in 1978, but she had several stipulations. She wanted the island to remain wild and continue to be a place of inspiration, creativity, and discovery, so the state was not allowed to build a causeway or start a ferry service to the island. They also had to continue encouraging arts and sciences projects/research and allow her to continue living in her house on the island until her death.
The Workshop
The original goals of the workshop were to use the Main House to:
1. Train housekeepers working in historic houses.
2. Professionalize preventive conservation.
3. Expose professional and emerging conservators to a nascent historic house and provide an opportunity for them to take part in its institutionalization.

The living room in the Main House on Ossabaw Island, GA.
The living room in the Main House on Ossabaw Island, GA.

The workshop provides a unique opportunity for participants to learn about preventive conservation and housekeeping practices for a historic house.  The things that make this program so unique are that the house…

  • is still a home in which the current owner is a 101-year-old woman who resides there full-time.
  • is on a remote island, and supplies must be brought out by chartered boat from the mainland.
  • suffers from MANY problems, such as:
    • The environment of the island (heat, humidity, salty ocean air, etc.)
      • Mold and mildew
      • Rotting wood
      • Rusting metal
    • Pests
      • Extensive damage to house, furniture, pillows/cushions, carpets/rugs, books, taxidermy, etc by termites, carpet beetles, silverfish, rodents, and other pests.
    • General neglect
      • As Mrs. West became older, she could not take care of the house by herself, and she could not afford to pay for the amount of repairs and housekeeping that the house required.
    • Arsenic
      • Exotic game heads (a lioness, black rhino, water buffalo, and a few kinds of antelope) have always been a major component of the living room décor, even appearing in the original architect drawings for the house.  These may have been shot by Dr. Torrey himself on a safari hunting trip to Africa.  All of them were treated with an arsenic-based pesticide.  Testing of the heads found that some had arsenic content that was off the charts (>160 ppb).

Though current housekeepers in historic houses were the original target audience, most of the people who have completed the workshop have been pre-program conservation students. A house with such a rich and fascinating history, but so many conservation issues, provides a lot of opportunities for pre-programmers to learn and gain hands-on experience. That is probably the workshop’s greatest achievement: exposing potential conservation students to collections care and preventive conservation.
I was lucky enough to have been one of the participants in the 2013 season. It was not glamorous. We worked hard and got dirty, crawling around on the floors and under cobwebbed furniture, vacuuming, dusting, moving heavy wooden furniture, and examining sticky traps that had caught all sorts of disgusting, multi-legged creatures. Through all of this, we got exposure to integrated pest management (IPM) and the care of furniture, paintings, textiles, books, and works of art on paper. It could be gross, but it was fun and exciting, too. As David said in his presentation, “Everything is an adventure on Ossabaw.”
Another major achievement of the workshop has been in helping emerging conservation professionals by providing third-year students or recent graduates the opportunity to be instructors. In 2013, that included two former WUDPAC students, Stephanie Hulman (paintings) and Emily Schuetz Stryker (textiles). These young professionals play an essential role because they have knowledge of the most recent techniques and advancements in the field and are better able to answer pre-program students’ questions about portfolios and conservation school.

2013 Team - Ossabaw Island Preventive Conservation Workshop
2013 Team – Ossabaw Island Preventive Conservation Workshop

Unfortunately, Emily Schuetz Stryker died suddenly and unexpectedly earlier this year. She was a great instructor, a wonderful person, and the most talented knitter that I have ever met. The Ossabaw workshop would not have been the same without her sense of humor and her wonderful laugh.
RIP Emily Schuetz Stryker (1987 – 2014)

41st Annual Meeting-Tours, May 29, "Indiana Historical Society"

A slight communications glitch caused the group from the Indiana State Museum Tour to start without the group that was only doing the Indiana Historical Society tour; we knew that they were supposed to rendesvous with us, but they didn’t know that we existed.
We finally caught up with the other half of our tour group in the Isolation Area of the Indiana Historical Society building, where Paper Conservator Ramona Duncan-Huse was explaining how they set aside a purpose-built space to quarantine, inspect, and treat incoming collections. Because the Historical Society actively acquires entire pallets of archive boxes, staff cannot examine every single item as it enters the collection. This holding room gives the Conservation Department the opportunity to detect insect evidence or mold and prevent cross-contamination with other collections. The room was the envy of many on the tour who could only dream about a room with such great features: negative pressure, floor drains, industrial freezers, etc. The Historical Society’s mold treatment room was a smaller room contained within the Isolation Area that had polyethylene sheeting over its entrance, easily-cleaned tile walls, and its own negative pressure air handler, designed to prevent the outflow of airborne particles through doorways.
After being “wowed” by both the size and quality of the contaminated holding area, the tour moved on to the conservation exhibit.  The “History Lab” is a delightful, interactive, kid-friendly installation in a second-floor gallery adjacent to the conservation lab. The exhibits’ objective is to explain what conservation is and what conservators do. The exhibit has been popular with audiences and funders, so the Conservation Department will be undertaking a renovation and expansion of the exhibit and the Conservation Lab. Facilitator Nancy Thomas oversees the hands-on paper mending practice area in the current exhibit. There are also computer-based interactive exercises.
Romona Duncan-Huse turned over the next part of the tour to Sarah Anderson, the designer who is helping to transform the History Lab in its next phase, scheduled to open in September. She showed storyboards for the new exhibit and explained its objectives. The current exhibit is very popular with school groups and families, but some visitors see it as a children’s exhibit and walk right past it. There will be “before and after” objects, and lots of touchable materials, as well as touchscreen computer-based items. Duncan-Huse maintains a conservation Pinterest page, so they plan to incorporate that into the new exhibit. The new exhibit will explore more of the “why” and “how” of conservation treatment decisions, and it will be a lighter, more open design (think Brookstone or Sharper Image meets Apple Store meets Williams-Sonoma); it still incorporates hands-on interactive activities, but with a more sophisticated feel than the old exhibit.
With the new gallery construction slated to begin in June, the impending removal of some walls of the conservation lab meant  that there were no treatments in progress during our visit. Conservation staff were happy to describe some of their recent activities to us.  Tamara Hemerlein, the Local History Services Officer, explained the IMLS Statewide Connecting the Collections (C2C) project, which includes a traveling conservation panel exhibit, “Endangered Heritage.” The project also includes training for volunteers and museum boards around the state, and she has done 85 site visits to collecting institutions.  In late August, they plan to release Deterioria and the Agents of Destruction, a conservation graphic novel. They let us see advance proofs, and it is AWESOME! Several members of the tour (including me) were involved with C2C, so we were all jealous. I asked if they had plans for conservator action figures.
After the lab tour, we had the opportunity to visit the galleries on our own. I went back to the conservation exhibit to get a closer look and to take a few pictures. I want to thank Ramona Duncan-Huse and everyone at the Indiana Historical Society for such an interesting tour.

AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting – Outreach to Allies Session, May 9, Collection Care Network Brainstorming Session: Table 1 – Mountmaking

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 a 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. So engaged they didn’t get up for food when asked to do so! So engaged they had to be asked a second time!! Now you have a very small idea of what the session was like. This particular post gives you more details about the discussion at Table 1. Look for the other 8 posts if you would like to review all the discussions.

Table One: I greatly appreciate the importance of good mounts both for visitor experience and for conservation so I was quick to volunteer to moderate the discussion at this table.  Due to the diversity of issues raised in the video and of perspectives around the table our discussions quickly became wide ranging.  Our table’s discussion dealt more with how we collaborate rather than what topics we deal with first.

The video: The video presenter was Shelley Uhlir, staff mount maker at the National Museum of the American Indian.  Shelley loved the idea of bringing together different but complimentary disciplines, of mount making and conservation.  She had seen the power of such collaboration in a mount-making forum held at the Smithsonian in 2010.  In that venue a wonderful conversation and exchange of ideas between mount makers and conservators took place.  Shelley hopes the CCN could make that sort of exchange available anywhere and anytime.   She went on to suggest a wide range of issues to address and kinds of information to exchange.

The discussion: Probably because the video was so clear and comprehensive in describing topics for interaction between conservators and mount makers the group discussion quickly turned to issues of how to facilitate exchange of information, particularly over the internet.  Concerns were raised about the person time required to maintain currency of information and several good suggestions were made.  The idea of having a credible source for information on the internet was especially appreciated and the importance of maintaining credibility emphasized.

The ideas for Collection Care Network projects:

  • Establish a Wiki or similar platform for sharing relevant information, especially providing links to the most reliable current information and not striving to reinvent the wheel.
  • Provide a venue for publishing reports on specific, small collection management and care related studies.  Such reports might be too narrow and focused for traditional publications but be valuable to colleagues facing similar challenges.
  • Establish dates for themed discussions, for example, selection and use of materials for mounts.
  • Possibly in conjunction with themed discussions, have a small group work intensively for two days to bring together a news report like summary of best current methods and information on a specific topic.

The contributors: Moderator – Robert Waller; Note Taker – Rob Lewis; Table participants – Priscilla Anderson, Jody Breek, Jennifer le Cruise, James Gilbert, Pip Laurenson

AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting – Outreach to Allies Session, May 9, Collection Care Network Brainstorming Session: Table 9 – Collections Managers and Other Collections Staff

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 a nine different short videos. Each video presented a collection care challenge or question. The discussion aimed to suggest project the Collection Care Network could develop that would provide tools to overcome the challenge or answer the question. Now imagine people engaged in conversation. So engaged they didn’t get up for food when asked to do so! So engaged the had to be asked a second time!! Now you have a very small idea of what the session was like. This particular post gives you more details about the discussion at Table 9. Look for the other 8 posts if you would like to review all the discussions.

 Table Nine: Collections Managers are not bountifully represented at AIC – we are in the minority. However, in my role as Collections Manager for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my responsibility is to put conservation theory into practice. I work closely with our departmental conservators. The Collection Care Network encourages all staff vested in collection care to get involved, so it was important that one of our discussion groups talked about working with allied collections professionals.

The video: The video presenter was Derya Golpinar, Assistant Registrar for Collections at the Rubin Museum in New York. In the video, Derya described her daily responsibilities, including maintaining proper environment, security, identifying potential condition issues with the collections, and identifying appropriate conservators and other experts to consult on overall preservation issues impacting the collections. It is a role that Derya described as liaising with all departments of the museum to create a coordinated preservation effort.

In her former position as Collections Manager at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, many of Derya’s responsibilities were the same, even though her title was different. This underlines the occasional lack of clarity of roles among collections staff. From this discussion of her role, the following questions were posed to meeting attendees:

  • Collections Managers and Registrars apply much of the conservation ideals the field establishes. How can we support them as a professional in reaching these goals?
  • How can titles affect professional standing for this group? Is there a benefit to having more standardized titles?
  • In some cases conservators are the employers of collections managers, and in others, collections managers are the employers of conservators. What are the skill sets that we share? What information do museums need from us when establishing preservation staff roles?
  • Much of what collections managers do is implement the ideals of preventive conservation, but they themselves do not have a professional organization, or clear pathways to entry level or mid-career training. What programs do you feel to be the best? What training would you identify for a collection manager at mid-career? In what areas should conservators and collection managers train together?
  • How do we increase visibility, and therefore better support collection care?

The discussion:  The topic – discussing collection staff – came as a surprise to Table 9’s participants. Interestingly, most of the participants at Table 9 were not institution-based conservators, but instead worked in private practice. They also usually were contracted to perform treatments, rather than examine and establish collection care policy and procedures. It was evident that traditional conservation training often does not address how conservators will work with others in preserving collections – one participant noted that she didn’t learn about collection managers until she was interning with a paper conservator. Another point made by Table 9 participants was that they often want to address collection care policy that may have led to damage they are contracted to repair, but that museums may not be receptive to this approach.

The ideas for Collection Care Network projects:

  • Mid-career training for collection staff is often difficult to identify. Available training has often targeted conservators or is more entry level in nature. Needed training that would be useful to both conservators and collection mangers included mentorship opportunities, self-assessment, benchmarking, and fundraising.
  • Create tools to assist the private practice conservator address collection care when creating a contract with an institution.
  • All collection activities and staff need more visibility to generate support for collection care. Some ideas included public interaction when some collection care activities are taking place and web features that highlight behind the scenes work.
  • Increased communication and visibility of collection staff and their work can also assist conservators in furthering a preservation message.
  • AIC collaborations with organizations such as ICON, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Association of Registrars and Collection Specialists, the Society of Historical Archaeology, regional organizations, and others can only help us to better understand each other’s goals and develop methods to work together.

The contributors:Moderator – Becky Fifield; Note Taker – Christian Hernandez; Table Participants – Molly Gleeson, Amy Brost, Kathryn Oat Grey, Nicholas Dorman, Melanie Brussat, Felicity Devlin, Ann Shaftel