Hi from the CollectionCare team! The third CollectionCare newsletter will be a small round up of the year 2020
of the events that took place from February to September in 2020, a year that brought many challenges and difficulties, but also the year where we saw the establishment of new networks and alliances in the field of preventive conservation.
This third newsletter brings you updates on the CollectionCare Project and the latest news, events, and publications on conservation and preservation of Cultural Heritage. The world might have stood still for a short while, the CollectionCare Project did not, let’s get you up to speed.
2020 turned out to be one of the most challenging years for cultural institutions and cultural practices. People saw themselves barred from their cultural heritage, with many cultural institutions forced to close down during long periods of lockdown. The discipline of preventive conservation was also challenged. Stay-at-home-orders barred conservationists and restoration professionals from their collections. Caring for your collection from a distance suddenly became a necessity.
The difficulties brought about by the global health crisis triggered discussions online concerning the practice and philosophies of cultural heritage conservation. The CollectionCare project actively participated in these discussions and reported on them via the project's social media.
Let this newsletter be a little guide through the brave new world of Cultural Heritage Conservation during crisis.
In this newsletter:
- Introducing CollectionCare
- Project update
- Interview with the Project Coordinator
- Partner Stories
- Our Community Manager
- News & Articles
- Events & Calls for abstracts/papers
For more regular updates and news: check our Instagram
A SMARTER WAY OF CARING FOR COLLECTIONS
We all know how important it is to preserve our cultural heritage. But that comes with a cost. The innovative CollectionCare project aims at lowering that cost.
The CollectionCare project, a European Commission’s Horizon2020-funded project, is a collaboration between museums, conservators, materials- and computer scientists and tech companies. The purpose is to develop an innovative preventive conservation system targeting the needs of smaller museums and collections with diverse object types. The CollectionCare system will integrate current research and technological advances into one single affordable monitoring system based on IOT sensors, wireless communications, big data, cloud computing and material-based degradation models. In this way, the CollectionCare system will be able to monitor the environmental conditions of each artefact individually at any place (at display, storage, handling or transport) provide degradation predictions of multi-material cultural artefacts and offer the adequate recommendations for their conservation.
More on the project website: www.collectioncare.eu
The project will run for 36 months and started March 2019. The kick off meeting was in Brussels. The partnership of 18, comprising Cultural Heritage institutions, research institutions and solution providers, embarked on a challenging agenda to deliver high tech IoT solutions for monitoring micro-climate on individual objects, combined with a prediction model based on degradation models
Progress in Detail
Below the progress of the work packages that are currently active.
The CollectionCare Project started designing its advanced sensor node. The previous ‘basic’ sensor nodes have been evaluated in real-life scenarios, and based on what has been learned, adjustments are being made.
Some of the previous components are removed, replaced or added such as the light- and UV-sensors or motion sensors that are able to record acceleration and vibrations. A new integrated antenna has been designed in order to reduce cost and improve performance. Based on research that was executed between month 15 and month 19 of the project, the pollutants that need to be monitored were convened in a meeting with WP2.
With these advances, WP4 was able to drive up the energy efficiency of the sensor node, achieving the 10-year target lifetime and drive down the cost of manufacturing.
WP 5 had the most difficulties with the stay-at-home orders and general confinements of the last year, it prevented the development of its tasks in the museums. Diputación Foral de Álava (DFA), Sapienza Università di Roma and Universitat Politècnica de Valencia drew up a new plan to move forward to cope with the restrictions. The sensor deployment has been running since it was installed in July and the data is being stored, in real time, on the cloud platform so that it can be processed as required
In between month 12 and month 19 of the CollectionCare project the basic sensor nodes were installed and validated in the DFA Museums. The wireless signal performance, the data extraction rate of the deployment and the energy requirements of the basic sensor nodes were evaluated.
In July, the CollectionCare Project recruited a new communication manager, responsible for the qualitative communication of the advances of the CollectionCare project. An introduction of the new communication manager is included in this newsletter.
A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a key element of good data management. A coherent DMP was reformulated in the previous months of the CollectionCare Project, including information on:
- the handling of research data during & after the end of the project
- what data will be collected, processed and/or generated
- which methodology & standards will be applied
- whether data will be shared/made open access
- how data will be curated & preserved
Interview with the Project Coordinator
Angel Perles, from the Universitat Politècnica de València, is the project coordinator of the CollectionCare Project. With the Project reaching it's halfway point and several assingments already checked of CollectionCare's to-do-list, we took the opportunity to ask him some questions about the progress, collaboration and highpoints of the CollectionCare Project.
What are the aspects that differentiate CollectionCare from similar initiatives?
What makes CollectionCare stand out is it’s holistic approach to preventive conservation and the effort to make preventive conservation accessible where it was previously unfeasible.
By leaning on the knowledge of the degradation of materials and the information technologies that automate the use of this knowledge, CollectionCare proposes that it is possible to apply conservation techniques to small and medium sized museums that would otherwise not have the budget to be properly occupied with the preventive conservation of their collection.
Other previous initiatives do not manage to close the circle, only partially solving the problem. Normally an expert is needed to interpret the information on the state of your collection. The CollectionCare team is creating a system where you can receive direct advice. In addition, CC aims to provide solutions to any of the situations of the work, whether in exhibition, storage or transport.
What are the strengths of this consortium?
CC covers many aspects related to the management of collections from the point of view of its conservation. The consortium covers a large range of stakeholders for a project like this.
First of all, the project's target audience is represented; an excellent representation of very diverse museums from all over Europe that also have enriching views on how to approach the conservation of their heritage. We also have prestigious companies dedicated to the conservation of heritage and its handling and transport. And companies dedicated to the management of these cultural assets.
On the other hand, we have research institutions that stand out for their knowledge of the degradation of heritage and the effects of micro-climatic changes on cultural heritage. And finally, we have partners related to information technologies that allow us to continuously monitor the work and automatically evaluate its condition and possible future evolution.
CC's strength is precisely to have all the ingredients that can help preserve heritage in a systematic and accessible way.
What were the main challenges for the project?
The main challenges of the project were to find a realistic approach to effective preventive conservation that was accessible to all.
The initial idea underwent many modifications and improvements to achieve this realistic approach from many points of view, including technical feasibility and future deployment as a viable business. It all starts from the fact that, for effective preventive conservation to be applied, it is key to consider the historic environmental stress and degradation kinetics of the different materials and monitor the artefact at all times and everywhere, not only during exhibition, but also during transport and storage. Nowadays this requires expensive monitoring and control equipment as well as specialized personnel most museums can not afford, so the challenge is to combine current technology and knowledge to make it affordable.
How do you view the project at the half-way point?
The balance is positive, both personally and in terms of the project's progress.
Personally, it is a great honour to be able to work side by side with this admirable group of people. They are excellent contributors of the project but they are also great people. It's amazing.
With respect to the project, we have been achieving the proposed objectives with a lot of effort, being at the same time the greatest resource of the project and the greatest challenge to manage to connect the different areas and interests.
In principle, the current situation, this pandemic, did not help, but we have managed to make good progress by finding solutions to the problem and even new ways of tackling them that help to meet the objectives.
How do you see the coming months unfolding?
Following the work plan, the next few months will be dedicated to the great challenge of putting together all the pieces that have been progressing in parallel. This is perfectly feasible in the current situation and will allow us to demonstrate the capacity of the proposal.
Where we are going to have to reinvent ourselves more is going to be in our relations with society. We have to make them participants in the importance of preserving cultural identity from the point of view of preventive conservation. This is a fundamental pillar of the project in which the partner museums can contribute more of their experience.
And, also in spite of the current situation, we must strive to share more with similar experiences and projects. This is another objective for the following months.
What are the expectation of the consortium of the CollectionCare Project? How will it influence future research?
The previous cultural heritage projects I have worked on have been at a local or national level. This gives you a small insight into the problems of cultural heritage conservation. The CollectionCare project opens up the field of action a great deal and connects very different entities related to heritage conservation: companies, museums, researchers, etc.
This has allowed me to see how disconnected each of the parties are.
From a romantic point of view, I thought that these different interests were connected. Well, the most important thing that CollectionCare can contribute in the future is to bring the distances between each interest closer together, making research more oriented to real needs or engineering more applied, or making companies see the potential as a business of the research being carried out.
The CollectionCare Project is opening windowse, I believe, also for other projects that follow this path.
SERIES: "PARTNER STORIES"
The Royal Danish Collection
The Rosenborg Castle
As the cramped town of Copenhagen with its heavy medieval castle was hardly the ideal residence for a young, ambitious ruler, Christian IV preferred Frederiksborg Castle, built by his father, 35 km away. East of the old town of Copenhagen he acquired much property, where in 1606 he founded the park still called The King's Garden (Kongens Have). Here, in 1606-1607, he built a two-storey "summerhouse", now the core of the south part of Rosenborg, with a spire crowned stair turret facing the town and a bay to the east.
A new castle, twice the size of the original, was built in 1613-1615. The present length was thus attained, but there were still only two storeys. There were two bays to the east and a stair turret on the central axis. The house was habitable from 1615, but construction continued from 1616-1624. The storey containing the Long Hall was added, and the bays were converted to the existing spire-crowned towers. The Great Tower was built on the west side. In 1624 Christian IV first referred to his "great House in the Garden" as Rosenborg.
Rosenborg, with its surrounding moat and drawbridge, was a playful version of a fortification. Today, with its high towers and red masonry with the sandstone ornaments, it is a distinguished example of Christian IV's many building projects. The castle is built in the Dutch Renaissance style typical of Danish buildings from this period. There are two architects whose names are linked to the castle: Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel. Christian IV's own contribution has been much discussed. The basic concept was undoubtedly his. The Rosenborg interiors are excellently preserved, because the castle has not been intensively used since 1710 - in the reign of Frederik IV, the great grandson of the builder, Christian IV.
The Great House in the Garden or Rosenborg
Rosenborg is unique, above all for its long museum tradition, which started during the Dano-Swedish Wars from 1657-1660. The core of the collection consisted of riding trappings and parade arms from Christian IV's magnificent collections at Sparepenge, a small pavilion, which has now been demolished, in the gardens of Frederiksborg Castle. Immediately preceding the Swedish occupation of Sealand in 1658, the treasures of Sparepenge were transferred to Rosenborg Castle where they were included in three armouries which Frederik III had constructed. Hereafter, the King's costumes were stored in yet another turret room and heirlooms and costly objects were exhibited in two rooms on the first floor. During the reign of Chrisian V regalia, gold medals and the State Archives were transferred from Copenhagen Castle. During the reign of Frederik IV glass, porcelain and the Holstein Duke's rich art collections from Gottorp Castle were added to the collections. These had been captured during the Northern War in 1713.
Most new additions are housed in the tower rooms around the Long Hall: the Regalia Cabinet to which only the King had the key in the Great Tower; the Glass Cabinet in the north-east tower; and the Throne Chamber, in which the furnishing of a Porcelain Cabinet was planned in the southeast tower. The locations were chosen for their proximity tot the Long Hall, which became the preferred Throne Room of the newly founded Absolutism. Following the anointing of Christian V in 1671, the anointing chair of narwhal tusk, guarded by the three silver lions, was placed here. Later on, the Hall was modernised with tapestries and a new stucco ceiling. Thus Frederik III, Christian V and Frederik IV had made Rosenborg's top floor one exhibition of the insignia and treasures of the monarchy: a distinguished treasury, where the King's permission was required before the regalia could be seen, and this privilege was reserved only for visiting royalty and ambassadors.
For the sake of completeness, it should be added that the treasury at Rosenborg was only part of the royal collection activities. As early as 1650 Frederik II had founded the Kunstkammer (Cabinet of Curiosities) at Copenhagen Castle and from 1665 he had a new building constructed vis-a-vis the Castle which was to house the Kunstkammer, the Royal Library and the remains of the existing armoury which had burnt down in 1647. by and large, the top pieces in term of materials and artistic creation were reserved for Rosenborg, wereas handicrafts of less costly materials dominated the Kunstkammer, including most of the handicrafts made by members of the royal family such as turned objects of ivory or amber thereby reflecting the monarch as artist. A fairly wide circle had access to the Kunstkammer, but Rosenborg was a distinguished collection and access was only granted to the chosen few.
During the reign of the Absolute Monarch, a rivaling Palace was built in 1740: Christiansborg. Part of the armoury and works of art and handicrafts were transferred and several proposals were made for transferring the regalia from Rosenborg to Christiansborg. These proposals stranded on questions of security and tradition. Even throughout this period, Rosenborg's collection kept growing. Christian VI's large dinner service of gold for 60 people was added, as well as the crown jewels and top pieces from the estates of the royal family members. From 1781, the Royal Coin and Medal Collection was established as a separate collection with distinct museal function. After Christiansborg Palace burned down in a fire in 1794, the silver furniture and precious objects that were saved were transferred to Rosenborg.
In the early 19th century, it was suggested that the collections of the monarchy should be turned into public museums. The Kunstkammer was dissolved and its artefacts divided up and transferred to a number of special collections, while Rosenborg became a museum of the royal family. In 1833 A.W. Hauch, scientist and court official, put forward a proposal that was innovative in its exhibition technique, suggesting the replacement of the existing "theme" rooms with a chronological exhibition of the successive royal families. A walk round the museum would thus be a journey through the history of Denmark from Christian IV tot the present day, for which reason at the time of its opening in 1838 a room for the reign of Frederik VI was arranged. Later, two more rooms were arranged. One in memory of the last king of the House of Oldenburg, Frederik VII and one in memory of the first king of the House of Glücksborg, Christian IX, respectively in 1868 and 1910.
After the abolition of Absolutism and the introduction of the Constitution in 1849, the royal palaces became state property. In 1854 Frederik VII allowed the Rosenborg Collection to become entailed property passed on from king to king.
The Great Hall guarded by three silver lions
The Marble Room
The RDC's role in the CollectionCare Project
Conservation at the Royal Danish Collection is carried out by own staff consisting of one painting conservator, one furniture conservation, one pretiosa/curiosa conservator and two textile conservators. The number of objects exhibited and their fragility makes conservation of the collections a time consuming endeavour. Because of the strict protected status of the castle and interiors there are limited possibilities of controlling environment.
Forty objects from the Rosenborg's exceptional collection have been selected as case studies for the CollectionCare project. Ten wooden objects, ten paintings, ten metal objects and ten paper objects are monitored and are supplying historic climate data. The data gained in monitoring these objects will be tracked carefully. The collection has already passed through the second condition check (these checks are done regularly tin order to develop a condition history). Even though the time span of the research is very short in comparison to the age of these objects, some damages may appear quickly if not correctly tended to. At this moment we have seen one such case, where corrosion on a metal object is starting to show. Later on in the project the developed monitoring system is to be installed and tested in several rooms in the castle and will help guide the museum in the evaluation of preventive conservation measures and where to focus our attention. Once the system is up and running the idea is to implement it into our public outreach programs for schools and universities and offer an introduction into the processes of all museum personel involved in the decision-making surrounding the objects, care, conservation, exhibition, travel and so forth.
|CollectionCare's Social Networks Communication Manager
The CollectionCare Project finds itself on the crossover between innovation and conservation. It is creating something that does not exist yet to be used for objects that have existed for a (very) long time. In this tension between future and past, their is a lot of room for contemplation and debate. In these strange times, with people being barred from their heritage and cultural sites, the conversations surrounding the importance of heritage and preservation are more relevant than ever.
The idea of remote monitoring is not new, but the CollectionCare System goes much further. The use of degradation models and big data, combined with advanced monitoring systems, is groundbreaking and wildly fascinating. There are still a lot of steps to follow before the project comes to an end. You can read about the CollectionCare Projects milestones, endeavours and speedbumps on our social media and the CollectionCare website!
Furthermore, the internet has created a rich and diverse community of heritage professionals and conservators, passionate about their fields of practice. CollectionCare aims to participate in discussions and conversations that are relevant and urgent. For this reason, the use of social media is not exclusively reserved for the dissemination of our progress, it is meant as a platform to communicate back and forth with you. Please share your insights and participate in the discussions on our social media pages! Here are the direct links:
|News & Articles
"The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Cultural and Creative Sector: Report for the Council of Europe
", KEA European Affairs,15.06.2020
"The Impact of COVID-19 on the Protection of Cultural Heritage
", Nadia Al-Said, 17.06.2020
"Conservation during COVID-19
", Karen Pittar, 22.04.2020
"Conservation in closure - making this time work
", Gina Fairley, 15.05.2020
"Conservation of museum collections
", ICOM, 26.05.2020
"The Science behind a museum visit
", TUE.nl, s.d.
"For stronger European cultural cooperation: EUNIC during the coronavirus pandemic
", Gitte Zscoch, 02.07.2020
"David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue
", Sam Anderson, 17.08.2016
"Survey on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on museums in Europe, Final Report
", Network of European Museum Organisations (NE-MO), s.d.
STAY UP FRONT: EVENTS AND CONFERENCES
Events where CollectionCare will participate
Florence HeriTech (Florence, 14th-16th October, 2020).
CollectionCare presented at the International Conference Florence Heri-Tech: The Future of Heritage Science and Technologies. The Conference was part of the Florence International Biennial for Art and Restoration, an international event attracting prestigious institutions and companies and creating a unique opportunity to bring together the academic world with industry. Heri-Tech is the first International Conference to welcome major researchers and scholars from all over the world, focusing on current and future issues in the field on issues related to innovative techniques and technologies for Cultural Heritage. Due to the restrictions surrounding the global pandemic, the conference was postponed and moved online, it took place from the 14th till the 16th of October.
XVI Reunión Técnica de Conservación- Restauración (Barcelona, 12-13 November 2020)
The UPV team gave the lecture “CollectionCare: un servicio innovador y asequible de monitorización para la conservación preventiva de obras de arte” at XVI Reunión Técnica de Conservación- Restauración organized by CRAC-Catalonian Association of Conservators-Restorers in Barcelona, 12-13 November 2020
Upcoming Calls for Abstracts/Papers
BRK-APROA Colloquium 2021 Conservatie-Restauratie
November 2021 - Brussels, Belgium
Deadline January 10 2021
International Conference on Textile Conservation, Restoration and Treatment
June 03-04 2021 - Rome, Italy
Deadline: January 06
European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration, April Issue 2021
Deadline February 7 2021
UMAC AWARD 2021: call for nominations
Deadline February 28 2021
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 814624