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Digital Landscape of Conservation Project

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 undertaken by FAIC in 2014-2016. With funding from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Getty Foundation, and Samuel H. Kress Foundation, FAIC investigated 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

Final Report

In 20165, the final report of the project Charting the Digital Landscape of the Conservation Profession: A Report to the Profession was published.

FAIC immediately began acting on several of the short-term and medium-term recommendations made in this report by bringing 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 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.

Draft Report and Feedback

In Fall 2015, we asked for the thoughts and comments of AIC members while the report 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. Though commenting is now closed, you can still read the draft report and comments at

Additional 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 in the Digital Landscape Baseline Report.

An online survey of digital resources was initiated in May 2014. A summary overview of the results can be found in the Digital Landscape Survey Summary, with a full analysis in the Digital Landscape Survey Report.


Forum #1, AIC Annual Meeting
Four presentations based on the Digital Landscape Presentation Overview were held May 31, 2014, in conjunction with the AIC Annual Meeting in San Francisco. 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 in the Harvard Forum Summary.

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.  Review a summary of the discussion in the Dallas Forum Summary.