THE PRESERVATION OF COLLECTIONS: ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION, AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES—PRACTICAL CONTRIBUTIONS
MEG LOEW CRAFT
The Preservation of Collections: Assessment, Evaluation, and Mitigation Strategies was the presession of the 24th AIC Annual Meeting held June 10–11, 1996, in Norfolk, Virginia. The aim of the presession was to share recent experiences and technical information gained during general facility surveys and to discuss among conservators and collections managers cost-effective ways of preserving cultural materials at a collections level. This aim was and remains timely as reductions in funding reduce the amount of time that can be spent on the treatment of individual objects, and will help to articulate goals within the conservation profession that more closely parallel the philosophical trends of museum administrations toward collection management. Twelve papers were presented on the first day and are available in the publication of the same title, Preservation of Collections: Assessment, Evaluation, and Mitigation Strategies. On the second day, strategies, innovative techniques, and creative use of materials for housing and storage of collections were demonstrated by 45 conservators and institutions.
Demonstrations and exhibitions included moving and mass containerization, standard housing designs, reconfigured standard housings for unusual circumstances or artifacts, and new solutions. Each presenter of housing and storage strategies had a table or booth, making the exchange of information very informal yet specific to the participants' needs. Many presenters provided handouts of plans, lists of suppliers, or manufacturers' literature—information that was not included in the publication provided to each presession participant. The following group of six papers are contributions from the second day presentations of housing and storage strategies. The authors have included adequate instructions to permit readers to construct or replicate these tried and successful solutions.