Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Green Day in the Life of a Registrar

Each of us has a unique talent and important contribution to make to reversing climate change. What parts of your work impact the environment? What difference can you make? Let's look at how a Registrar can change the world:

Funori - University Products
It was a banner day at work! The Acheulian hand axe was returned as scheduled; now you can reuse that travel case next month when the Pacific Island lintel is scheduled for loan to the Brickard Museum. When you met with the curator at the MFA to go over the condition report you both remarked how the online form makes international loans, and finding a shared courier, so much simpler. She plans to pick up the lintel on her way to the airport when she taking objects to the MFA in St. Sebastian. She can deliver the lintel easily to the nearby Institute of Art.

Then you found information about an alternative to sturgeon glue, funori. It’s made from seaweed, not a fish species not under threat. You think the conservators can appreciate the science and the need to change.

Image result for eclimatenotebook imagesWith the new dataloggers automatically uploading to eClimate Notebook, the time you would have spent visiting each logger to transfer data was spent preparing the report on a month of night-time coasting in two of the three main galleries. Now the curators, facilities manager and conservators will have time to look at it before your meeting at the end of the week. With a bit of luck, the money you saved on utilities might go toward purchasing gasketed cases for items in the Perkins wing. Storage there isn’t likely to be upgraded with vapor barriers and humidistatic heating anytime soon so you need passive protection for the most vulnerable items.

Now, if you could just get the boss to let you go to the disaster preparedness conference with the state emergency management agency, you could add Sea Level Rise considerations to the management plan….

What an awesome green day you just had! Let’s look at what you accomplished:
·       - You avoided carbon emissions (and saved money) by using the standard conditions form which linked you to a courier.   
·       - You saved material resources and storage space (and money) by reusing a crate, and had the foresight to tweak loan schedules to make it possible.
·      -  Saving time (and money) with dataloggers is terrific and allows you to examine your practice and look for energy efficiencies while maintaining standards.
·       - And finding an alternative substance to do work that meets or raises standards while protecting an endangered species, well, that is superhero territory.

I think you can go home early - you have helped yourself, your objects, your institution, another species, and the planet!

[i] Image Permanence Institute, in Rochester, NY, is an outstanding resource for equipment, practices and successes in environmental management for archives and collections. You can find information about eClimateNotebook on their website:  

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