A Course of the Managing Collection Environments Initiative
Online Activities, Beginning March 2017 (ten weeks)
Intensive Workshop, June 5–16, 2017
Distance Mentoring, Beginning July 2017 (six months)
Managing collection environments while providing long-term access to cultural materials requires a complex set of technical, analytical, and social skills. The preservation of collections has evolved into a discipline that takes into account the complexities and uncertainties present at all stages of environmental management. Recent and ongoing debate about appropriate climates has eroded the certainty of prescriptive approaches to reveal that no single field of study holds the solution and no one solution can be applied universally.
This innovative three-phase course brings together different disciplines, emerging knowledge, and the skills required to communicate and build consensus on the most appropriate approaches for climate control. It will provide up-to-date information that puts theory into practice and connects with participants' working contexts by drawing on their experiences and by fostering continued learning through distance mentoring.
The course aims to disseminate recent research and thinking on technical aspects of environmental management while enhancing participants' critical thinking and analysis of different kinds of information, and enhancing their decision making and influence within institutional frameworks.
The course seeks to provide participants with
Updated and refreshed technical knowledge to analyze and communicate collection risks
Ability to discuss management of collection climates from the perspectives of architects, conservators, curators, facilities managers, scientists, and institutional administrators by blending the experience and knowledge of experts with participants' own situations
Ability to set problems and solutions into institutional frameworks while exploring decision making that balances all issues and stakeholders and builds towards institutional consensus
Ability to develop holistic, sustainable solutions based on the needs and capacities of participants' institutions
A network of professionals dedicated to sustainable preservation of historic materials
Benefits to participants
Case-based learning and in-practice mentoring that blends learning with participants' own experience
Improved skills to communicate and justify ideas and to understand and respond collaboratively to other perspectives and needs
Insight into perspectives and activities of other disciplines connected to collection preservation
Enhanced ability to manage and facilitate change
Strengthened contacts within and beyond participants' institutions
Benefits to participants' institutions
Foster cooperation, communication, and understanding within the institution
Improved personal and professional competence of staff, to achieve institution's mission and manage change
Demonstrated commitment to sustainable environmental practice
Strengthened internal and external networks
Prepared staff to undertake future roles at institution
The course will cover a range of topics including, but not limited to: climates and building envelopes, material response to climate, causes and concepts of damage, monitoring and data analysis, risk-based approaches, sustainable options for control and management practices, long-term strategies, program briefing, strategies for communication and leadership.
To support informative classroom discussion and embed learning in practice, the course begins online with tasks, readings, and discussion. All participants are required to complete a number of assignments during this first phase. Some assignments require information-gathering and consultation with other institutional colleagues. Participants should anticipate two to three hours of assigned work each week during this ten-week phase.
The second phase is an intensive two-week interdisciplinary workshop at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The third and final phase of the course is a six-month distance mentoring program individualized to each participant. Participants are required to actively participate in all three phases of the course.
Vincent Beltran, Getty Conservation Institute
Foekje Boersma, Getty Conservation Institute
Walt Crimm, Walt Crimm Associates
Michael C. Henry, Watson & Henry Associates
Wendy Jessup, Wendy Jessup Associates
Jeremy Linden, Image Permanence Institute
Michal Lukomski, Getty Conservation Institute
Bob Norris, Magic Hat Consulting
Patricia Silence, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Joel Taylor, Getty Conservation Institute
Page updated: March 2017