See below for images from the RE-ORG Workshop!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Uniting to safeguard Parksville and Qualicum Beach’s heritage

8 March 2018

PARKSVILLE. Four cultural institutions from across the Western region were selected by the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) to be part of “RE-ORG: Canada” a training program for museum professionals who, over one year, are working collaboratively to improve access to their collection in storage and to improve preservation conditions: Qualicum Beach Museum in Qualicum Beach BC, Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate BC, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives in Vernon BC, and Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse.

From 13-15 March 2018, as part of the training, these museums will join forces to reorganize a collection storage area at the Parksville Museum in Parksville, British Columbia. This hands-on experience, made possible thanks to funding received from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program (MAP), will then be applied in their own institutions over the next 6 months.

On 16 March, a conference entitled “RE-ORG West: Adventures in Storage Reorganization” is being held at the Parksville Museum, where delegates from Canada and abroad will exchange best practice in this area.

RE-ORG Canada, the CCI-led initiative, aims to build professional and institutional capacity in storage reorganization by encouraging the creation of RE-ORG networks across Canada (Ontario, Atlantic, Quebec, West, Prairies and North). Having gone through the process first-hand, museums in these regional networks will be able to advise other museums on how to improve their own storage conditions.

When storage is disorganized, museum collections are at higher risk of damage and loss, and it is all the more challenging to make them accessible to the public. Typically, about 95% of museum objects are housed in storage, so this is a significant problem for many museums in British Columbia.

“It is no secret that most museums struggle with providing adequate storage conditions – not only in Canada but all over the world… two out of three museums are in this situation, according to a recent international survey,” says Simon Lambert, Preservation Development Advisor for CCI and coordinator of the event, “…and it is a significant problem because most museums are small- to medium-sized organizations with limited resources; it’s the more crucial to provide tools that are adapted for their specific reality by maximizing existing space, equipment and human resources.”

“The British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) is happy to be a partner in this initiative that provides practical solutions for museums in our region while also contributing to the knowledge and best practice of the international museum community,” says Erica Mattson, Executive Director of the BCMA.

The four selected museums based in the Western region will be using the RE-ORG Method, which was originally designed by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) with the support of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a step-by-step tool to help smaller museums tackle the reorganization of museum storage areas for better access, visibility and space efficiency. The method also ensures that adequate equipment and storage furniture is available, that the space is functional, and that all the necessary procedures are in place (available free online: http: https://www.iccrom.org/section/preventive-conservation/re-org).


Parksville Museum hosted the first day of the RE-ORG West workshop

Simon from CCI introduces the first workshop day

Mapping out the storage area for re-organizing during the workshop

Progress charts ready to guide workshop participants through their reorganization

One storage area to be tackled during the first day of the workshop

Tools of the organizer’s trade. Look how well organized the table is!

Rolling textiles for proper, safe storage

Progress chart showing how much has gotten done throughout the day. Great work!

Progress on the storage area after day 1. Shelving cleared, textiles stored properly, and collections safe