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An App for Museum Conservators?

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 27 May 2011

The following question has been asked on Twitter: "Answers in <240 characters, please! RT: @thesherrin: What would a iPad app for conservators do, or what would they want it to do? #mtogo". I asked one of our Conservators, Sheldon, what he thought... 

Conservation of a Maori cloak

Carl Bento © Australian Museum

The #mtogo hashtag on Twitter is worth following - collegiate, generous with sharing and a mine of useful information. My interest was piqued with the Tweet asking what museum conservators woudl like from an app, so I asked Sheldon (who I've happily got to know through working on the Our Oldest Display Case project) for his ideas. Here's what he said:

"I have actually been thinking about conservation uses for an iPad (cos Im such a geek). I thought about having some of our materials information put into a dictionary/encyclopedia type app so we could have instant access to material properties and MSDS sheets at our desks. Would save us wandering around looking up all the different texts. ... Also a visual reference of materials, damage, mould, materials so we could identify things faster. You often need to have a reference to compare against when doing materials identifications. Colour charts and colour science information would also be handy."

These ideas have got us very excited, so much so, that we're gonna get together and brainstorm some more, see what content we already have and, using some rapid agile development see what might eventuate.

We're really keen to hear others' thoughts so we can add them to the mix - maybe this could be the first museum-wide app developed by all of us? Now there's a cool idea - who wants to be involved??