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Charting the Digital Landscape of the Conservation Profession

Final Report Published

FAIC is please to announce the final report Charting the Digital Landscape of the Conservation Profession: A Report to the Profession is now available. Further, we have already acted on several of the short-term and medium-term recommendations made in this report. FAIC brought on Matt Morgan to become our Digital Strategies Advocate; he has convened a group to address digital competencies for conservators and begin the discussion to update AIC's Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. FAIC also has hired a development associate, Melissa Ezelle. FAIC and AIC are planning more efforts to realize the goals stated in the report.

Read the final report to learn more about planned actions and ideas for the conservation community.

Thanks for Your Feedback on our Digital Landscape Draft Report

 In 2014, FAIC engaged in a year-long research and planning project, “Charting the Digital Landscape of the Conservation Profession.” Rather than polish up the final project report, in Fall 2015 we asked for your thoughts and comments while it was still in draft form. We posted the draft of the Digital Landscape report on a special website within Conservation OnLine (CoOL) to collect paragraph-level comments. Your thoughts have been incorporated into the final report, and we thank you for your valuable input. Though commenting is now closed, you can still read the draft report and comments at

The recommendations that have come out of the project so far are a bit daunting, but we look forward to working with a broad spectrum of partners as we move forward.

About the Digital Landscape Project

"Charting the Digital Landscape of the Conservation Profession" is a research and planning project that began in 2014. This page contains links to planning documents, survey results, meeting summaries, and other materials. The final report should be available by early summer 2015.

The project is funded by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Getty Foundation, and Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

What digital tools and resources do conservators use and create? Who are the audiences for conservation content, and how can this content be delivered to these groups by digital means? What kinds of digital tools, resources and platforms will be needed as the profession continues to grow?

These questions form the core of “Charting the Digital Landscape of the Conservation Profession,” a project of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC). With funding from the Mellon, Kress and Getty Foundations, FAIC is investigating the digital landscape of the profession to better understand its breadth and complexity, and to identify areas critical to the community both now and into the future.

  • Project Director:  Diane M. Zorich
  • Project Assistant: Ayesha Fuentes
  • Advisory Committee: Kenneth Hamma, Pamela Hatchfield, Eric Pourchot, Nancie Ravenel, Koven Smith, Eryl P. Wentworth, Bonnie Naugle
The project is divided into several components. See below for more information and links about each.

Discussion Forum
Join the conversation!  We invite your thoughts, questions, and comments on the Digital Landscape Discussion Forum:!forum/faic-digital-landscape-project  
(This link will open a new window for Google Groups.)

Existing Resources
A review of existing digital resources was conducted to provide a "snapshot" view of current websites, tools, databases, and other resources that contain conservation information or serve conservation purposes.  A summary of those resources can be found here (14 pages, PDF).

An online survey of digital resources was initiated in May 2014.  A summary overview of the results can be found here.  A full analysis and report (81 pages, PDF) is available here.

Although the statistical portion of the survey is concluded, FAIC welcomes additional responses. To participate in the survey, please use the link below:

A series of forums were held during 2014.  Descriptions and summaries have been posted below.

Forum #1, AIC Annual Meeting
Four presentations, followed by an open discussion session, were held May 31, 2014,in conjunction with the AIC Annual Meeting in San Francisco. A one-page outline can be found here. Links to the presentations are provided below. An overview of the presentations and summary of the discussion, written by Kate Brugioni, can be found in the Conservators Converse blog.

Eric Pourchot (FAIC Institutional Advancement Director) gave an overview of the project and initial findings from the survey of conservators and collections care specialists about their use of digital resources.
Overview & Introduction

Ken Hamma (Consultant and representative of the Mellon Foundation) discussed the Mellon Foundation’s efforts in the areas of conservation and digitization, the goals and directions of these efforts, and their relationship to the bigger picture of the digital humanities.
Ken Hamma presentation

Nancie Ravenel (Conservator at the Shelburne Museum) provided an overview of key resources she uses as a conservator and talked about how her inability to easily access some resources (e.g., ARTstor; ILL) changes how she locates and navigates information.
Nancie Ravenel presentation

David Bloom (Coordinator of VertNet, an NSF-funded collaborative project that makes biodiversity data freely available online) spoke about the importance and opportunities offered by data sharing and online collaboration. He addressed issues such as how to engage people to work together as a community when working on digital projects, interdisciplinary collaborations, and sustaining community efforts for these projects.
David Bloom presentation

Forum #2, Harvard University
A two-day forum was conducted September 11-12, 2014, at Harvard University with an invited panel.  A summary of the discussions is available here.

Forum #3, Dallas Museum of Art
A two-day forum was conducted December 4-5, 2014, at the Dallas Museum of Art with an invited panel.  A summary of the discussion is available here.