£80K grant will enhance access to conservation documentation in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums

National Museum Scotland GettyImages-104200296.width-1000.format-jpeg.jpg

National Gallery Scotland,  one of the consortium members

The Hypermedia Research Unit at the University of South Wales is amongst a number of UK and US academic and industry partners which have received a total of £80K in grant funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation.

The grant will support the second phase of the Linked Conservation Data (LCD) project, which will look at enhancing access to conservation documentation in organisations such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. 

Ceri Binding said: “Conservators within these organisations investigate the condition of curated objects, treating and protecting them. The recorded observations, together with evidence and conclusions about the history of each object, are combined with other resources such as historical texts.

“One of the issues is that datasets from different sources inevitably use different words to describe the same things, which prevents effective cross-searching. Our research will seek to utilise common controlled vocabularies to resolve such problems.”

Not only will the projects make a vital contribution to conservation work, they are also important for research and interpretation, particularly where the material evidence contradicts the history.

“This project will help to improve and harmonise international conservation documentation practices and widen access to the resulting documents via online publication,” Mr Binding added.

“This will be of significant benefit to historical researchers, heritage professionals, and, ultimately, the general public and future generations, through an enhanced shared understanding of the history of curated and conserved objects.”