Custodians of World Treasures Meet to Discuss Conservation Issues and Possible Solutions - Nov 2009

Later this month, guardians of the world’s cultural treasures will meet in Salzburg, Austria, to explore global themes related to conservation and preservation and develop recommendations for protecting collections around the world. The seminar, “Connecting to the World’s Collections: Making the Case for Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage,” will be co-hosted by the U.S. federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) from October 28 – November 1, 2009; additional support has been provided by the U.S. President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The gathering in Salzburg will build on the IMLS’s initiative on collections care, Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, to explore global themes, issues, initiatives, challenges, and successes related to conservation and preservation.

The sixty seminar participants will attend by invitation only and will come from more than thirty-five countries, many of them in the process of developing, in every region of the world. They will include cultural leaders, conservation and preservation specialists from museums, libraries, archives, and conservation training institutions, as well as cultural policy makers. Some of the major themes of the seminar include indigenous conservation; management, assessment, and sustainability of collections; emergency preparedness; education and training; collaborations for collections care; and public awareness and advocacy.

The co-chairs of the seminar will be two leaders in the world of conservation. Debra Hess Norris, Chairperson of the Department of Art Conservation and Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education at the University of Delaware, is one of the leading conservators of photographs in the world. Vinod Daniel, Head of the Cultural Heritage and Science Initiative at the Australian Museum in Sydney as well as Chairman of AusHeritage, and Vice Chairman of the ICOM-Committee for Conservation is renowned for his work in preserving cultural heritage in developing nations and for managing major international conservation projects.

At the seminar’s end, participants and leaders will issue a set of recommendations to overcome institutional, logistical, political, and financial barriers to the optimal conservation of collections. A publication summarizing these recommendations will be posted on the IMLS and Salzburg Global Seminar Web sites ( http://www.imls.gov/ and http://www.salzburgglobal.org/ ) and sent to key stakeholders around the world. For more information about the program, please contact Nancy Rogers, Senior Project Coordinator, IMLS, nrogers@imls.gov or Susanna Seidl-Fox, Program Director, SGS: sfox@salzburgglobal.org.

To follow daily seminar blog posts by Richard McCoy, Assistant Conservator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, please go to http://www.iiconservation.org/wpress/. To follow McCoy on Twitter, please use hashtag #SGSConnect.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov. About the Salzburg Global Seminar The Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent, non-governmental organization with its headquarters at the magnificent Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. For 62 years, the Seminar has brought together leaders, scholars, practitioners, and students from the fields of politics, economics, law, media, culture and the arts to address issues of global concern. Its faculty, fellows, and staff come from diverse regions, backgrounds, and professional expertise. To learn more about the Seminar, please visit www.salzburgglobal.org.

For more information about the program contact Nancy Rogers, Senior Project Coordinator, IMLS, nrogers@imls.gov or Susanna Seidl-Fox, Program Director, SGS: sfox@salzburgglobal.org.