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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, [Fellow]

Margaret Holben Ellis, [Fellow]

Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation, NYU Institute of Fine Arts
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... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens, [PA]

Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens, [PA]

Conservator, Preventive Team Head and University of Delaware Affiliated Assistant Professor, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Joelle Wickens is the 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... Read More →

Speaker(s)
avatar for Laura Hortz Stanton

Laura Hortz Stanton

Executive Director, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
Founded in 1977, the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) is a nonprofit conservation facility specializing in the treatment of works on paper, photographs, and books through conservation and digital imaging services. CCAHA's range of services includes 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 libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural organizations to conduct needs and risk assessments, assist in disaster planning, and help develop policy and planning documents for collections. She also develops and presents education programs on preservation... Read More →


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