Re-Org: Canada (Ontario)

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Azra Bečević-Šarenkapa, National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Carrie Kitzul, Norfolk Arts Centre, and Nadine Hammond, Museum on Tower Hill.

RE-ORG Update: Ontario Represents in Brussels!

November, 2016

In 2014-2015 Ontario was the first region to participate in the Canadian Conservation Institute’s (CCI) RE-ORG: Canada program for storage reorganization. Throughout the year, working together with the support of CCI and their colleagues, and funding from the Museums Assistance Program, five museums took part in the four phases of RE-ORG (Getting Started self-evaluation, Storage Condition Report, Storage Reorganization, and Storage Reorganization Implementation).

The Timmins Museum: NEC, Museum on Tower Hill in Parry Sound, the Collingwood Museum, the Norfolk Arts Centre, and the Lambton Heritage Museum all came through with successful projects, improved collections storage, increased community awareness, and lots of experience to share with their colleagues.

In September, Ontario participants in RE-ORG had the opportunity to share their projects with the international museum community in Brussels, Belgium at the International RE-ORG Seminar: Reconnecting with Collections in Storage.

Nadine Hammond, Curator/Manager at the Museum on Tower Hill, presented the paper “Look what we found. . .” Using RE-ORG as a vehicle for raising public awareness at the Museum on Tower Hill about the exhibit they presented during their project of objects whose information had been dissociated. "We were attempting to educate the public on museum procedures and what happens when they fail, thus why they are so important. That's just not something most museums would be comfortable doing because it opens you up," said Nadine Hammond, "but we felt it was better to say, 'come, help us be better'".

Carrie Kitzul of the Norfolk Arts Centre presented a paper at the conference entitled “No Time? No Personnel? No Problem: Achieving Tangible RE-ORG Results with Limited Resources”. Kitzul’s presentation considered organizational impediments in the planning and execution of the Norfolk Arts Centre’s RE-ORG project, namely as it related to time management and human resources. This presentation highlighted solutions to the common problem of acquiring resources that could be applied to an institution of any size in the execution of a storage reorganization.

Carrie Kitzul and Luke Stempien, Lambton County Archives, also presented a poster entitled “RE-ORG Canada: A Collaborative Approach to Storage Reorganization at two Ontario Cultural Institutions” examined the planning, implementation and completion of RE-ORG initiatives at the Norfolk Arts Centre and the Lambton Heritage Museum. Based on quantitative measures supported by the RE-ORG self-evaluation tool, floor plans and action plans, the poster captured both projects and the tangible results they achieved.

The Ontario representatives were joined by Canadian colleagues Gail Niinimaa and CCI’s Simon Lambert, RE-ORG: Canada’s coordinator.

Congratulations to the RE-ORG: Canada (Ontario) participants for their completion of their RE-ORG projects and for sharing that work with the Ontario and International museum communities!

Video of the RE-ORG: Canada (Ontario) workshop at the Brant Museum & Archives in March 2015.

See the Re-Org: Canada (Ontario) Brantford workshop album on Flickr.

Conference Session Recording - OMA Conference 2015
We're All in this Together: A Collaborative Approach to Storage Reorganization

Presenters: Carrie Kitzul (Art Gallery Assistant, Norfolk Arts Centre), Luke Stempien (Assistant Curator, Lambton Heritage Museum) and Melissa Shaw (Museum Assistant, Collingwood Museum)
Access Recording

Webinar: Your Storage RE-ORG Project - Planning for it and funding it
August 2015
Simon Lambert, Preservation Development Advisor, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ruth Biderman, Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage, Karen Bachmann, Timmins Museum, Nadine Hammond, Museum on Tower Hill.
Webinar Slides [PDF]



Dealing with storage is one of the main challenges museums face. When storage is disorganized, collections are no longer accessible, and their potential use to benefit the public is threatened. The
RE-ORG methodology for reorganizing storage in small museums was developed by the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and UNESCO. Since 2012, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) has been using the RE-ORG methodology in its two-day workshops on storage reorganization. The focus of storage is on making improvements to existing storage areas, and not on planning and building new facilities.

Course description

“RE-ORG: Canada” is a new training initiative organized by CCI based on the RE-ORG methodology that seeks to inspire a new generation of leaders in storage reorganization. The first edition of “RE-ORG: Canada” will be held in Ontario in collaboration with the Ontario Museum Association (OMA), and will be limited to Ontario-based museums.

Throughout this 12-month training activity, up to six museums (two participants per museum) will work on preparing a condition report to identify the key issues affecting the access and conservation of their collection. They will then prepare a reorganization project and implement it. If your museum is selected, you will receive ongoing technical guidance from CCI as well as from your fellow participants during the course through a combination of face-to-face interaction and online learning.

To deliver the online portion of the training, CCI has partnered with ICCROM and the Central Institute for Conservation (CIK) in Belgrade. Groups from other countries will be working simultaneously with the Ontario group.