Parksville Museum will be hosting Canadian and international delegates at a workshop and conference March 13-16 aimed at teaching cultural institutions how best to safeguard their collections in storage. — The NEWS File Photo

Parksville hosts museum archive workshop

Qualicum Beach Museum one of four Western Canada hosts

A museum conference in Parksville this week looks to bring delegates from Canada and beyond to share best practices for safeguarding museum collections that are held in storage.

According to a joint Parksville Museum and BC Museums Association news release, typically about 95 per cent of a museum’s objects are housed in storage. This poses a significant problem for many B.C. museums.

“It is no secret that most museums struggle with providing adequate storage conditions — not only in Canada but all over the world… two out of three museums are in this situation, according to a recent international survey,” said Simon Lambert, preservation development advisor for the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and co-ordinator of the event, in the press release. “It is a significant problem because most museums are small- to medium-sized organizations with limited resources; it’s the more crucial to provide tools that are adapted for their specific reality by maximizing existing space, equipment and human resources,” he said.

In an attempt to address the issue, CCI selected four cultural institutions across the Western region of Canada to be a part of RE-ORG: Canada, a training program for museums which, over one year, will work collaboratively to improve access to their collections in storage and improve preservation conditions.

Those selected were: Qualicum Beach Museum; Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate, B.C.; Greater Vernon Museum and Archives in Vernon, B.C.; and Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse.

From March 13-15, as part of the training, the museums will join forces to reorganize a collection storage area at the Parksville Museum.

Those involved in the hands-on experience can then apply what they’ve learned at their own institutions.

Following that, a one-day conference titled RE-ORG West: Adventures in Storage Reorganization, takes place at Parksville Museum on March 16, during which delegates from Canada and abroad will exchange best practices.

— Parksville Museum/

BC Museums Association news release

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