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Subject: Visitor impact

Visitor impact

From: Gillian Mitchell <conservation_works>
Date: Monday, May 19, 2003
Our heritage unit is currently carrying out a research project aimed
at identifying, monitoring and quantifying the impact visitors and
users of our building have on the heritage fabric and fittings.  Old
Parliament House was the home of federal government in Australia
from 1927 to 1988.  Today the building is a museum, art gallery and
function space with over 170,000 visitors per annum.   We are faced
the task of balancing use of the historic property against wear and
tear of the heritage fabric.

We are interested in making contact with anyone who is currently
involved in or knows of research work or approaches to actively
managing visitor loads in historic properties.  Our literature
review has highlighted work that has been done on visitor induced
vibration and dust distribution by the National Trust in England. We
are also aware of an exciting project at the Historic Houses Trust
of NSW which involves a computerized image comparison system for
condition monitoring.

Presently, we are in the process of developing tools and techniques
to quantify types and rates of damage on various materials.  Our
areas of main interest are grime deposition, colour change and
physical damage including abrasion, on floor-coverings, leather
upholstery, metal fittings and lacquered timber furniture.  We are
also developing tools to identify potentially damaging visitor
behaviour patterns.  The overall plan is to use these tools to
institute a monitoring program that will allow us to actively manage
and minimize wear and tear on the fabric.  This monitoring program
will take a holistic approach and include assessment of
environmental conditions that are influenced by visitors including
illumination levels, microclimatic changes, dust deposition patterns
and indoor air quality.

We would appreciate making contact with anyone else involved with
work in this area.  The research project is being coordinated by
Gillian Mitchell <conservation_works [at] ozemail__com__au>.

Gillian Mitchell
Conservation Works Pty Ltd
+61 2 6226 8339
Fax: +61 2 6226 8331
Mobile +61 413 861 450

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:72
                   Distributed: Monday, May 19, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-72-020
Received on Monday, 19 May, 2003

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