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Friday, May 17 • 10:00am - 10:30am
(Sustainability) Returning to a Small Island: Implementing Interdisciplinary Preservation and Sustainability Strategies

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At the 2016 joint AIC-CAC Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada, the project team from the Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum Association presented the outcomes of Museum’s 2013 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) Planning Grant. Three years later, at the close of the Museum’s successful NEH SCHC Implementation Grant, various strategies have been applied in an effort to establish sustainable preservation practices and technologies suitable to the Museum’s unique situation. This session will describe the strategies implemented, and examine their initial effectiveness and appropriateness, as tools for the long-term, sustainable preservation of the cultural heritage of a small island community off the coast of Maine. Structural approaches such as period-appropriate repairs, combined with winter heating strategies, were aimed at mitigating mold growth in the historic keeper’s house, while the renovation of the interior of an outlying building sought to provide appropriate environmental conditions for the storage of growing collections. Renovations of aging mechanical systems allowed for improvements in operational strategies, while creative energy-sourcing – including solar-thermal collectors and waste-heat recovery from the island’s generators – hopes to provide for more efficient moisture control and heating. Throughout the project, the interdisciplinary team – including the Museum’s staff and members of the island community, as well as outside partners from the conservation, historic preservation, and engineering fields – worked to identify the best utilization of available resources, including sourcing much of the labor from on-island crafts- and tradespeople. While Monhegan’s physical situation is in many ways unusual, its needs as a small museum – including sufficient and appropriate storage and exhibition spaces that remain respectful of historic integrity, building and mechanical systems and operations that can be maintained by staff and accessible contractors, and sustainable preservation and collection management practices – are common to many cultural heritage institutions. It is the team’s hope that the experience of the Monhegan Museum over the last six years – ranging from the implementation of various non-mechanical and mechanical strategies to the interdisciplinary thinking and design – may be helpful to similar organizations starting on their own path to sustainable preservation.

avatar for Jeremy Linden

Jeremy Linden

Principal/Owner, Linden Preservation
Jeremy Linden has been the Principal/Owner of Linden Preservation Services, Inc., since 2017. He is an active educator and consultant with two decades of experience in the cultural heritage field, the last eight years of which have been focused on enhancing preservation environments... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Pye

Jennifer Pye

Chief Curator, Monhegan Museum
Jennifer Pye has been part of the curatorial staff of the Monhegan Museum of Art and History on Monhegan Island, Maine since 2002. With a focus on collections organization and management, Jennifer tries to balance the preservation needs of the museum’s collections against the expense... Read More →

avatar for Ronald Harvey

Ronald Harvey

Principal/Conservator, Tuckerbrook Conservation LLC
Ron Harvey began his private practice in 1990. He is involved in a wide range of conservation consultation with museums including storage, environment, lighting and treatment of objects both nationally and internationally. Prior to private practice he completed an MFA in sculpture... Read More →
avatar for Scott D Fitch

Scott D Fitch

Principal, Innovative Construction & Design Solutions, LLC
Since graduating from Georgia Tech, Mr. Fitch has been working in the field of indoor environmental design for over twenty years and has worked with many of our nation’s preservation institutions such as the National Park Service, National Trust, Library of Congress, Smithsonian... Read More →

Friday May 17, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am EDT
Shinnecock/Nipmuc Rooms Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Sustainability
  • Track Sustainability
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Jeremy Linden, Jennifer Pye, Scott Fitch, Ron Harvey
  • Abstract ID 19174
  • Tags sustainable preservation,interdisciplinary,sustainability,HVAC,mechanical systems,renovation