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Subject: Marking


From: Lisa Mibach <heritage1>
Date: Friday, June 16, 2006
Barbara Appelbaum <aandh [at] mindspring__com> writes

>...  The other question is: what
>other measures can she take?  I don't know how the pieces are
>secured to the wall, so that is something to discuss, but the number
>of pieces hanging in halls and offices is huge, and there is no way
>that the company is going to support an expensive electronic system
>of some kind.
>Any recommendations for security consultants that you have worked
>with would be helpful as well.

I seem to recall some extremely clever and inexpensive tricks that
preparators have worked out, and I hope that some of them will share
these with us.

One could also consider a risk-assessment approach, moving the most
valuable items into secure, inhabited areas. However, if a large
collection of valuable works is to be secured more thoroughly than
possible with variants of these two approaches, money is likely to
be involved at some point.

It is also possible to hide an RFID alarm on the back of a frame
that will shriek if the item is removed without authorization (we
see that now in retail stores for expensive clothing). This does
unfortunately require an electronic alarm system, but as
technologies have evolved, this now may not be expensive compared
with the value of the collection items. I would imagine that a
blanket WiFi system might have something to offer.

For up to date information, I would suggest that you contact Bert
Moore, Director of IDAT Education and Consulting in Pittsburgh.
(IDAT stands for Intelligent Data Acquisition Technologies, such as
barcode and RFID devices) He was also the Director of the
professional organization for people working in that field, and was
very knowledgeable about which technologies were effective in
various circumstances.

Bert's site is <URL:>, and his email is
bmoore [at] idat__com

Bert and I actually set up a small company to adapt these
technologies for museums; for example, we had worked out a way of
printing archival quality, tiny human-readable numbers and high
infodensity codes for numbering objects that would allow automated
tracking of location, and had looked at remote-readable condition
reports for travelling exhibits, as well as security issues such as
you describe. However, as is often the case in museums, the
decision-makers felt that the guys in the basement could figure it
out, so they didn't want to pay for current expertise, so the
company has been dormant for some time. You'll enjoy Bert.

Lisa Mibach

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:1
                  Distributed: Saturday, June 24, 2006
                        Message Id: cdl-20-1-014
Received on Friday, 16 June, 2006

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