FALL 2017
GCI News
Online Publications
Epidemiology: Basic Ideas Applied to Museum Collections
A Report from an Experts Meeting Organized by the Getty Conservation Institute, June 15–16, 2015
Jim Druzik and Foekje Boersma

In June 2015 the GCI convened a meeting to explore the possibilities of adapting an epidemiological approach to cultural heritage. Leading researchers in the study of materials behavior in fluctuating climatic conditions, as well as those working with collections, met to explore ways this approach could help investigate the causal relationships between objects’ environment and the mechanical damage they sustain. The meeting’s objectives were to identify the methodology and assess the feasibility of an epidemiology study, to discuss the scope of the study, and to identify areas for potential subsequent collaboration.

This report includes a discussion paper exploring the terminology and essential concepts of epidemiology and how these may be applied to cultural heritage. It is followed by a summary of the meeting’s discussions and outcomes.

This free publication is available online.