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Tuesday, May 14 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Centering Value in Collection Care TICKETED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Tools, techniques, and tactics, including rational scaling strategies such as risk assessment, are all valuable recognized aids to achieving our goals. But are our goals set in the best possible ways for meeting the needs of our institutions and the societies they serve? Or might they be self-serving in making us believe by doing work just as we have been trained to do leads to the highest possible social benefit? What are we really trying to do anyway? Just perform collection care work? Or plan and execute selected activities in pursuit of a strategic goal? As leverage points for improving a collection care system, tools, techniques, and tactics have considerably less power than strategic-level system interventions such as formulation of high-level goals and even transcendence of paradigms. Directly considering the latter immediately uplifts our perspective to the broadest institutional and societal goals. This session will employ a variety of idea sharing approaches including:

  • A combination of solicited and invited presentations on traditional and non-traditional uses and values of diverse collections. Discussions will explore the range of opportunities and challenges of greater societal engagement in defining the goals and meanings of preventive conservation.
  • Adopting a values-based approach in collection management and conservation is critical to ensuring that these functions have a clear focus on the higher societal goals of your institution. The approach ensures collection investments are aligned with institutional priorities and are as efficient and effective as possible. The transition from an object and material focus to a value focus is not always an easy one for professionals whose education and experience have usually been centered on object and material focuses. The transition can be greatly facilitated by managers participating in the transition.

This session has been developed to engage managers in partnership with collection managers and conservators in engaging in that transition. We hope you will join us in this sea change initiative.
Learning outcomes for you as managers will include:
  • Understand limitations of traditional object- and material-based approaches to collection care work.
  • Learn the power of word choice and positioning to focus on value-based strategic outcomes, rather than task-oriented goals.
  • Explore how to create stronger stakeholder interest by directly connecting collection preservation to societal values.

avatar for Rebecca Fifield

Rebecca Fifield

Head of Collection Management, New York Public Library
Rebecca Fifield is Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections at The New York Public Library. She has over twenty years experience working with both large and small art and history collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston... Read More →
avatar for Jane Henderson

Jane Henderson

Reader in Conservation, Cardiff University
I have been working in and studying in conservation and collections care in Wales since 1984. I teach on the BSc in Conservation and MSc’s in Collection Care and in Conservation Practice. I currently serve as a trustee on the Welsh Federation of Museum and Art Galleries and The... Read More →
avatar for Robert Waller

Robert Waller

President and Senior Risk Analyst, Protect Heritage Corp.
Specializing in cultural property risk assessment and management. Strong background in natural sciences, preventive conservation, material science and conservation science. Accredited by Canadian Association of Professional Conservators.