Ecomuseums 2014

Interested in the cultural, ecological, and knowledge potentials of museums? Interested in how museums can bring together and sustain communities? If so, you might be interested in the Ecomuseums conference. The call for papers for Ecomuseums 2014 is now open and will accept submissions until the end of February. Here’s how the conference organizers describe the conference’s focus and roots:

Ecomuseums 2014 – 2nd International Conference on Ecomuseums, Community Museums and Living Communities follows the path established by its first conference and (as the predecessor) aims at gathering scholars, academics and practitioners working in the areas of Ecomuseums and Community Museums all over the world in an event that may contribute to the global discussion and understanding of the ecomuseums and community museums phenomena.

The ecomuseum movement has its origins in late 1960’s France when the roles museums can play in linking people, their heritage expressions and places, as well as affecting social change, were examined. At this time, traditional museum activities, which centered on the collection of heritage to be interpreted by curators and other museum professionals within a museum building, were viewed as both limited and exclusive in approach.

 In more recent decades, ecomuseums have been established throughout the world and are guided by a variety of differing aims and objectives. For example, an ecomuseum may resemble a more conventional museum in appearance or, in other cases, an open–air community-controlled heritage project, depending on the place.

 It can be considered that this wide range of ecomuseological and community-based museological initiatives demonstrates an international interest in alternative heritage management approaches. For this reason, Ecomuseums 2012 seeks to bring together scholars, researchers, architects and heritage professionals to discuss the commonalities, differences and future of safeguarding practices that are holistic and community oriented in scope.

Conference presentations and panels are accepted from those in any stage of their career or research process, as long as they are somewhat along the following themes:

  1. Community-based museological approaches: challenges, opportunities, practices
  2. The evolution and geographical diaspora of ecomuseum practices
  3. Beyond ecomuseums: Sociomuseology, its theory and practice
  4. Place, communities and heritage: relationships and ecomuseological interventions
  5. Nature,culture and communities: making connections through ecomuseology
  6. The economuseum movement: conserving traditional crafts
  7. Tourism, environment and sustainability: ecomuseological approaches
  8. Working with ethnic minorities: community museology and indigenous curation
  9. Intangible cultural heritage: its significance to local communities and how museums/ecomuseums can assist in safeguarding
  10. Architecture and spatial planning: ecomuseological and inclusive approaches
  11. Urban ecomuseums: conceptual issues, challenges and opportunities
  12. Industrial communities: inclusive approaches to conservation and interpretation of industrial heritage

Individual abstracts are due 28 February 2014 and can be submitted online.

I love the word ecomuseological, don’t you?

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Green Bytes: Sustainable Digital Preservation TwitterVerse

A panel discussion titled “Green Bytes: Sustainable Approaches to Digital Stewardship” was held this morning at the Library of Congress‘s Digital Preservation 2013 meeting. On the panel were David Rosenthal (Stanford University), Kris Carpenter (Internet Archive), and Krishna Kant (George Mason University and National Science Foundation), with panel organizer and chair Joshua Sternfeld (National Endowment for the Humanities).

The panel took up questions of how we think about making digital preservation more sustainable. As we realize that digital information is not ephemeral, but requires significant resources of time, money, and energy, how will we make sure that we can still be able to access, read, and use the information that we create?

Here are a few of my favorite (mostly my favorites) tweets during the panel. The first are about the deeper questions: what are we preserving? Why? How?

These tweets mention some of the panel ideas:

A quote from Krishna Kant’s slides:

Kris Carpenter mentioned some uses of data center heat that the Internet Archive staff has mentioned:

Here’s an excerpt from the panel abstract, as linked from the announcement on The Signal:

As our digital cultural and scientific heritage grows at an exponential rate, it is often easy to overlook the underpinning material costs. Data, of course, are not “virtual” or “ephemeral”; rather, every byte requires resources to ensure its reliable storage and accessibility. Recent reports suggest that data management currently taxes upwards of 2% of total global energy consumption. The data center is quickly emerging as a counterpart to the “analog” storage facility as one of the central infrastructural components of our preservation ecosystem.

Current research into the sustainability of data centers, especially in the commercial sector, would suggest that there is plenty of room to improve energy efficiency. The greening of data centers has led to innovations in every facet of their operations, from retrofitting buildings in order to recalibrate air flow and cooling, to adopting computational strategies that reduce the load on spinning hard drives. This panel will explore how approaches to achieving green sustainability already underway in otherindustries could be adopted by the digital preservation community.

David Rosenthal’s remarks can be found here at his blog.