Wednesday, May 15 • 4:45pm - 5:00pm
(Collection Care) Revolutionary Way to Measure Artifacts

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To effectively preserve, display and even study an artifact's intrinsic properties, precise measurements of the dimensions of that object need to be taken. Only then can the exact measurements be used to create the box and foam necessary to properly store the pieces within a collection. Additionally, having precise measurements allows for easier planning when mounting and presenting these objects in an exhibition. Lastly, curators can use these exact measurements as a baseline to further observe and research the changes that result from the physical properties of these objects, as well as compare and contrast these properties to similar discovered and undiscovered artifacts around the world. For the past few decades, conservators have measured 3D objects using three methods: 1. Straight Ruler(s) combined with L-Square Ruler(s) 2. Book Measuring Device 3. 3D Laser Scanning and Modeling While these methods have been employed by conservators for decades, they are not the most effective or efficient: L-Square rulers are too thin to create measurements that are perfectly parallel to the object, Book Measuring Devices are not only unable to measure larger objects, but more importantly require significant handling of items that may be too fragile or heavy to be pushed up against the back panel of the device, 3D Laser Scanning and Modeling results in the most accurate measurements of an object, but also is the most time-consuming and expensive of all three methods. Having been a conservator for 10 years, I wanted to find a method that would be not only more precise and cost-effective, but most importantly, require the least amount of human handling possible to preserve the integrity of the artifact. My R&D Team and I spent two years researching and experimenting with different designs and materials to create a device that I believe is currently the most innovative, efficient, and cost-effective method to measure an object. We achieved the following three features: 1. A pair of perfectly parallel planes to create an orthogonal measurement 2. A compass-like marker that ensures that the horizontal and vertical rotation is exactly 90 degrees 3. A turntable base that allows for exact rotation of the object without human handling. To measure an object, a conservator would first place the artifact on the compass-like marker in the middle of the device, second, horizontally slide the two vertical panels flush with the object so that he can record the distance between the two panels given by the ruler, third, rotate the turntable 90 degrees and repeat the previous step, last, insert the height rod to measure the height of the object. While different objects will require different amounts of time to measure, this process should take between 5-10 minutes to complete. In sum, our patent-pending device revolutionizes the way conservators measure items because it allows precise measurements for oddly-shaped items including, but not limited to, round-back books, and fossilized skeletal remains.

avatar for Jun Yin Hsiao

Jun Yin Hsiao

Conservator, JC Cultural and Creative Service Co., Ltd.
I am a private conservator working on the conservation treatment of book and paper, also provides collection care service to museums in Taiwan. After long years work, I find that proper housing can help museums better preserve their collections with limited budget compared to conservation... Read More →

Wednesday May 15, 2019 4:45pm - 5:00pm
Salon A2-A3, Uncas Ballroom Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun

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