Entrusted with ensuring the preservation, integrity, and accessibility of cultural artifacts, conservators straddle both art and science, managing complex restoration projects, researching new preservation methods, and publishing scholarly research.
Acknowledging the centrality of this work for cultural heritage collections, conservation management has been part of Gallery Systems’ The Museum System (TMS) since its inception more than 30 years ago. Yet, given the increased complexity of the conservator’s role, Gallery Systems also recognised that conservators needed their own software tool set. Work began in 2009 on a world-wide collaboration to create this entirely new product.
“When we started this project, we put together a Conservation Working Group consisting of 50 stakeholders, most of whom were conservators,” says Jay Hoffman, CEO of Gallery Systems. “After exploring the data management requirements and aspirations of the conservation community, we realized that we were designing something bigger than a few added features to our existing software. Fast forward to autumn 2015, and the result of that hard work, Conservation Studio, is soon to be released.”
Fully integrated with TMS, Conservation Studio provides a workspace where all conservation object and project information can be consolidated and managed. This includes treatment notes, surveys, activity reports, object status and location, related emails, and high-resolution images, and includes a powerful image annotation utility.
“Our goal is to give conservators the ability to more efficiently manage projects and conservation processes,” says Hoffman. “With all conservation information in one place and accessible to all stakeholders, Conservation Studio creates an environment for the collection of high-quality conservation records, and promotes essential collaboration between conservators, exhibition staff, curators, registrars, borrowing venues, and others.”
Conservation Studio is browser based, giving users the ability to securely access their data from any computer.