In 1998 the GCI and seven Latin American educational institutions involved in preventive conservation training launched the Latin American Consortium. The primary goal of the Consortium—which now totals 10 institutions—is to strengthen preventive conservation expertise throughout Latin America through the collaborative development of training resources. The members have committed themselves to sharing information, experiences, and resources that they have already developed or plan to develop in the future as part of their ongoing training activities.
Over the next several years, the Consortium will deal with a range of topics and a variety of teaching support materials. Its work will require timely and efficient communication, as well as a suitable repository for the resources it collects and creates. For this reason, the GCI has created a dedicated Web site for the Consortium. At present open only to the organizations that form the Consortium, the Web site will serve as the primary vehicle for collecting and disseminating teaching resources, as well as for general communications. The Web site, which has gone online, has, among other features, a directory of members, a list of working topics, and a discussion board. The site allows easy posting and sharing of information and provides individuals working on various aspects of the Consortium's work with electronic files to which other members have access.
Presently, the Consortium is focused on developing resources in two topic areas: (1) emergency preparedness for museums, and (2) buildings housing collections. Work associated with the first topic has been in progress for several months. Among possible future activities is the development of a session on emergency preparedness for the meeting of the International Council of Museums Regional Organization for Latin America and the Caribbean. This meeting will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay, in fall 1999.
At the same time, the Consortium is starting to identify resources for addressing the complex conservation issues relating to museum buildings and the environment they create for collections. The GCI had produced a number of teaching notes and case studies in connection with its courses in preventive conservation. These materials, where necessary, will be updated and adapted and will be posted on the Web site for use by the Consortium. Other members will be contributing materials that they have developed as part of their own programs. Later in the year, a meeting of the main contributors in this area will be arranged at a venue in Latin America.
To assist the members of the Consortium in identifying, adapting, and creating teaching resources for this network of training institutions, the GCI will make available specialists in the design and development of teaching resources and online collaborative networks.
Members of the Latin American Consortium
Fundación Antorchas, Argentina
Centro de Conservação e Restauração Bens Culturais Móveis, Brazil
Vitae-Apoio à Cultura, Educação e Promoção Social, Brazil
Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración, Chile
Pontificia Universidad Católica, Chile
Fundación Universidad Externado de Colombia, Colombia
Ministerio de Cultura (formerly Centro Nacional de Restauración, Instituto Colombiano de Cultura-COLCULTURA), Colombia
Centro Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museología, Cuba
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico
Getty Conservation Institute, United States