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2020 Vision: Current and Future Research in Cultural Heritage Preservation

IPI is seeking presentation abstracts for a two-day symposium, October 14-15, 2020, hosted at Rochester Institute of Technology, that will focus on sharing current and future preservation research initiatives and projects. Presentations should address the development and implementation of new preservation tools, methodologies, and research approaches, as well as practical resources, and training opportunities for the preservation community. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, image stability and the preservation of photographic materials, materials testing and standards work, sustainable environmental management in collections spaces, and innovations in preventive conservation. Presentations will be 20 minutes in length, and the deadline for abstract submission is January 10, 2020.

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Job Opportunity: Research Scientist

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI) is looking for a scientist with experimental research expertise to broaden research activities and testing services related to materials used for the storage, transport, and display of library, archive, museum, and private collections. This position will contribute to IPI's preservation research activities by developing new research projects, collaborating with other IPI staff on research initiatives, and leading IPI's materials testing services. The position is expected to communicate research results to cultural heritage professionals nationally and internationally through professional presentations and publications. The role is responsible for providing expert advice and services to external clients on the interpretation of results for ISO 18916 and 18902 required tests, as well as participation in related ISO working groups.

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Workshop registration is now open for Training Sustainable Environmental Management Teams for Cultural Institutions

NEH Workshops

Registration is now open for a series of three-day workshops designed to guide participants through the process of facilitating and implementing a sustainable environmental management program. Registration fees are waived due to generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and workshops will be offered in eight states across the country to make them easily accessible. Workshop participants will learn how to establish an environmental management project, collect environmental data from collection spaces and mechanical systems, and assess facilities and collections spaces to make informed decisions that will improve the preservation quality of collections environments while at the same time reducing energy consumption. Instruction will include evaluating building documentation such as images and building plans allowing participants to collaboratively practice interpreting and understanding facilities documentation. It is intended that each institution send several participants (two to four) that represent multiple departments and the basis of an environmental management team. Each team should consist of no less than one collections representative and one facilities representative. Please submit only one registration per team.

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Free Environmental Management Webinars

National Endowment for the HumanitiesRegistration is now open for five environmental management webinars. The webinars are being offered with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Education and Training Grant Program. Series I webinars are designed for institutions beginning a program; Series II webinars are for those with a year or more of environmental data, looking to advance data analysis and data-based decision-making. There is no cost to attend these webinars.

More information and registration


Research Assessments and Institutional Planning at the Image Permanence Institute

Research Assessments and Institutional Planning at the Image Permanence Institute

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded RIT $165,000 in funding to support assessment initiatives that will inform and strengthen short- and long-term research goals and institutional planning at IPI. This initiative includes a preservation research assessment that will engage and solicit feedback from colleagues throughout the preservation community to identify research needs and priorities recognized in the field. Assessment activities will include online surveys and working meetings hosted at RIT with library, archive, and museum leadership professionals, preservation researchers, and preservation educators who can speak to the preservation needs of cultural institutions. A one-year, full-time Preservation Research Associate position will be hired to collaborate with IPI’s Executive Director, Jae Gutierrez, on completing the research assessment activities.

Read the RIT Press Release


Training Sustainable Environmental Management Teams for Cultural Institutions

Training Sustainable Environmental Management Teams for Cultural Institutions

IPI was selected to receive an award of $199,801 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to increase the capacity of humanities collections professionals to independently establish and maintain sustainable environmental management programs. In cultural institutions an environmental management team that includes both collections and facilities staff creates a structure in which the insights gained from environmental monitoring are actively used to inform environmental management. This two-year project emphasizes the value of environmental management teams and includes a series of webinars and workshops appropriate for small, mid-size, and large institutions that will provide essential knowledge and skills necessary for establishing environmental management teams. Project activities will be led by IPI’s Christopher Cameron, Sustainable Preservation Specialist, and Kelly Krish, Preventive Conservation Specialist. In the weeks ahead, IPI will conduct an online survey to inform curriculum development for this project.

Read the NEH Press Release


Enhancing the Educational Value of Graphics Atlas

Enhancing the Educational Value of Graphics Atlas

IPI recently received a $17,000 Digital Resources grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to add new preservation content to IPI’s online resource Graphics Atlas. Initially launched in 2007, Graphics Atlas currently has over 20,000 unique users a year and is an interactive digital resource that guides users through a process of identification and characterization of graphic print media. In doing so, it has proven successful in helping collections care professionals identify objects in print media collections and to better understand the history and material composition of print and photographic materials. New content, based on years of preservation research at IPI, will be developed by Al Carver-Kubik, Research Scientist, and will expand Graphics Atlas’ function to also inform preservation planning for print media collections.


IMLS Funds Emergency Response Research

IPI has been awarded a National Leadership Grant of $453,054 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a three-year research project titled Evaluating the Potential for Freezing and Freeze Drying to Improve Water Emergency Outcomes for Inkjet Prints. The project aims to determine if freezing and freeze drying are safe and effective for the recovery of modern museum inkjet print collections affected by water emergencies. Daniel Burge, Senior Research Scientist, and principal investigator for the project notes, “Of course, the first action item for all institutions is to take steps to prevent wetting of their inkjet print collections, but disasters can and will still happen and salvage skills to ensure the greatest chance of recovery are absolutely necessary.”


New Product: Environmental Monitoring Starter Kit

Environmental Monitoring Starter Kit

Routine environmental monitoring of collections spaces, coupled with data analysis and environmental management, informs and enhances long-term preservation planning in cultural institutions. This "starter kit" provides the fundamental tools needed to establish a preservation environmental monitoring program. It includes 5 PEM2® dataloggers for collecting environmental data, IPI’s Guide to Sustainable Preservation Practices for introducing the basics of environmental monitoring in cultural institutions, and a flash drive for downloading environmental data from a PEM2.

To help institutions starting, or enhancing, an environmental monitoring program, we've created this bundle that saves $300 off the retail value of the products, an $1800 value when sold individually.

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