[Preservenw] IPI WEBera project from IMLS
menges at u.washington.edu
Mon Dec 3 17:37:21 PST 2007
RIT to Create Web-Based System to Help Museums and Libraries Store and
RIT's Image Permanence Institute will develop and test system; project
funded by IMLS
The Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of
Technology has received a $332,760 grant from the Institute of Museum
and Library Services (IMLS) to create a novel Web-based system that will
enable collections staff in museums and libraries to efficiently move
large volumes of environmental data directly to the Web for automated
analysis and reporting.
Museums and libraries are unable to manage environments
effectively and efficiently due to lack of staff time and in-house
expertise, the difficulty of determining the degree of risk or benefit
to collections and the challenge of organizing, maintaining and
reporting on mountains of data.
The premise for the two-year research and development
project called WebERA, or Web Environmental Risk Analysis, is that
environmental risks can be managed and mitigated if they can be
identified, quantified and then communicated to museum leadership and
facilities managers. The idea of using the Web to store and share
environmental data directly is new, but is firmly rooted in the
environmental research and development conducted by RIT's Image
Permanence Institute over the past 13 years.
Project activities will include programming the WebERA web
server application and working with a selected pilot group of 10 museums
and five libraries to test the design and function of the WebERA system.
Project results will be made available to the preservation community
through conference presentations and a Web publication.
"The success of our collecting institutions over the long
term will depend not only on how well they can market themselves, but
also whether their collections are in good enough condition to attract
the attention of visitors and scholars," says James Reilly, director of
Permanence Institute. "Environment is the least costly way to ensure
that competitive edge and to avoid the expense of preventable damage.
WebERA is designed to overcome the obstacles that most often prevent
museums and libraries from managing environments effectively and
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