New Tools of the Trade

Assisting cultural heritage institutions perform their daily work

This webinar will be co-presented by Lesley A. Langa, PhD, of NovaKultura Consulting, Kate McEnroe, Associate Conservator of Archaeological Materials at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Anne Kingery-Schwartz, Principal Objects Conservator, Kingery Conservation LLC. The presenters will provide an overview of two distinct measurement tools they have developed to assist small and medium-sized cultural heritage institutions perform their daily work.

Dr. Langa will present on the Collections Care Index Tool – a self-assessment survey that allows collections staff to see where they are meeting basic collections care standards and regularly monitoring collections care practice. Users should be able to self-evaluate their work and produce valuable information for leadership and staff on how well their organization is performing collections care. Participants are encouraged to view the tool on her website: https://www.collectionscareindex.com/ prior to the webinar.

Ms. McEnroe and Ms. Kingery-Schwartz will then preview an assessment tool that evaluates all aspects of health and safety within an institution. It covers a wide variety of topics providing users with the ability to track their progress towards preventing incidents like workplace injury and fires, as well as identifying hazards present within institutions’ collections. Designed for historic houses, the tool can also be more broadly applied to small and medium institutions and is intended to assist those that may not have ready access to safety professionals. The survey tool will be previewed during the webinar, but two useful health and safety resources in advance of the webinar are the American Institute for Conservation’s (AIC) Health and Safety Wiki and the AIC Health and Safety Forum. You do not need to be an AIC member to use either of these.

Both presentations will provide additional resources for where to go once evaluations are completed and new information is needed for remedy. Each tool will be presented for 30 minutes, leaving 30mins for shared questions and tool demonstration.

Presenters

Lesley A. Langa, PhD, of NovaKultura Consulting

Lesley A. Langa, PhD is a strategic research and program manager with over 15 years of experience managing national initiatives that address the needs of libraries, museums, and other heritage institutions. Her work focuses on access to information and cultural heritage collections, including who has access vs. who does not, how we curate and protect information for future study and use, how we support the cultural sector in its daily work to improve access and sustain our collective history. She is a policy-driven action researcher who aims to provide useful tools that can affect practice in the field and deliver practical solutions for cultural heritage professionals and helping to evaluate the mechanisms we use to do all of this. Her work has spanned several areas including digital collections, metadata management, evaluation and research, and user experience across the cultural heritage sector in museums, federal cultural agencies, and small nonprofits. She recently completed a PhD at the University of Maryland’s iSchool and is currently the Associate Research Scientist in the Library Trends and User Research Office of OCLC Research.

Kate McEnroe, Associate Conservator of Archaeological Materials at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Kate McEnroe is the Associate Conservator of Archaeological Materials at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where she has worked for over five years. She worked as a Project Conservator at the Brooklyn Museum after graduating from the University College London’s Institute of Archaeology. Health and safety first became an interest during her Master’s program and it has since expanded, partially inspired by the range of hazardous materials interacted with during archaeological conservation. She is a member of the AIC Health and Safety Network’s leadership team and has recently presented her research on asbestos in historical archaeology.  

Anne Kingery-Schwartz, Principal Objects Conservator, Kingery Conservation LLC

Anne Kingery-Schwartz is an objects conservator in private practice in the Washington DC area. Anne has worked at a variety of museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Indian, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Anne is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and served as co-Chair of their Health & Safety committee. As part of her private practice, she publishes, lectures and advises collections caretakers on the health and safety concerns of hazardous collection materials.