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Friday, May 30 • 4:40pm - 5:00pm
(Engaging Communities in Collection Care Session) Sustaining the Cultural Community - The Stewardship Resource Center as a Model for Preventive Conservation Training

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Holistic, strategically planned collections care initiatives can help institutions make fiscally and environmentally responsible preservation decisions. For more than a decade the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) has guided Philadelphia-area cultural institutions in making thoughtful preventive conservation decisions through its Stewardship Resource Center (SRC). The SRC provides consultation, training, preservation resources, and networking opportunities to participating organizations and in doing so has fostered economically and environmentally sustainable preservation practices throughout the region’s cultural community.

Since its founding in 2002 the SRC has worked with more than 70 museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites in the Philadelphia area to define and prioritize preventive conservation needs. Working with CCAHA staff, participating institutions map out their goals through the program’s four tracks: Needs Assessment, Preservation Planning, Emergency Planning, and Policy Development. One-on-one consulting is combined with series of structured workshops, allowing staff at the institutions to gain basic preventive conservation knowledge.

Through formal surveys, focus groups, and anecdotal conversations the session presenters have gathered information on how the SRC has fostered economically and environmentally sustainable preservation practices in the Philadelphia region. Data has showed that tiered recommendations help institutions to meet their goals and that the definition of sustainable practice can vary greatly from one organization to another. The collaboration and resource-sharing at the heart of the SRC have created a sense of community and common purpose among varied organizations while allowing individual institutions to meet their specific preservation needs. Participating institutions assist one another with emergency preparedness and response, volunteer cross-training and sharing, and collaborative grant-funded projects for conservation. This successful resource-sharing has helped institutions achieve their individual preservation goals while strengthening the cultural community as a whole.

Based on SRC recommendations, local cultural institutions have evaluated and upgraded their environmental systems, invested in protective housing materials, and deliberately reorganized their collections storage spaces. Such projects have made these organizations more economically and environmentally sustainable. Short video interviews with staff members from participating institutions will illustrate the value and impact of the program.

This presentation will also discuss how the SRC model can be adapted by conservators in a variety of professional settings. Conservators and preservation staff working in private practice can pursue similar strategies with the various institutions with which they work; staff from larger institutions can find motivation to be leaders in their communities; and staff from small to mid-sized institutions can explore their own opportunities for collaboration, resource sharing, and other cost-saving measures to increase economic and environmental sustainability.

Session Moderator(s)
avatar for Margaret Holben Ellis

Margaret Holben Ellis

Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation; Director, Thaw Conservation Center, NYU Institute of Fine Arts; Morgan Library & Museum
Margaret Holben Ellis received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University (1975) and completed her Master’s Degree in Art History and Advanced Certificate in Conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (1979). In 1977 she joined the Paper Conservation staff at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she remained full-time until 1987 when she was appointed Sherman Fairchild... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens

Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens

Conservator, Preventive Team Head and University of Delaware Affiliated Assistant Professor, Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware
Joelle Wickens is Conservator and Preventive Team Head at Winterthur Museum & Country Estate and a University of Delaware Affiliated Assistant Professor in Art Conservation for the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. She gained an MA (Distinction) in textile conservation from the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton, Winchester, UK in 2003. In 2008 she was awarded at PhD from the same institution... Read More →

Speaker(s)
avatar for Laura Hortz Stanton

Laura Hortz Stanton

Executive Director, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
Laura Hortz Stanton is Executive Director of CCAHA. Laura assumed this role in 2014 after having served seven years as CCAHA’s Director of Preservation Services. In this position, she conducted vulnerability and needs assessments, formulated disaster plans for museums, libraries, and other institutions, and taught preservation classes. Under her leadership, the Preservation Services Department implemented and presented educational... Read More →

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Dyani Feige

Dyani Feige

Director of Preservation Services, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
Dyani Feige works with cultural organizations to conduct preservation assessments, assists in emergency preparedness, helps develop policy and planning documents, and develops and presents preservation-related educational programs. Previously, Feige worked for the Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives, the New York Public Library's Preservation Division, the Conference Board, and New York University's Bobst Library. She received her MSLIS with... Read More →


Friday May 30, 2014 4:40pm - 5:00pm
Grand Ballroom B-C

Attendees (52)