Conservation Hobbies

Preserving the past takes a lot of time. For the family, we have digitized over 80,000 images and films. For friends, we have digitized the entire available catalog of our shared musical histories. For the professional community that works on conservation of important technologies which have relevance for today, there are numerous efforts represented here.

Access to some of the conservation work may require credentials, you know how to reach me if you need access to any of it. The archives are being restored as a part of a project using new software that wasn’t really available until about 2018. By the first quarter of 2020, the initial site structures were created and the software is now available to assemble all of the pieces in a coherent, maintainable, and scalable (enough) fashion. Some of that journey is documented here.

We spend time conserving the important software and systems of our past, to learn from it, to honor it and to be grateful for all that it has taught us…

I was trying to discover examples of a living restoration, trying to go beyond discussions about correct historic colors, materials, and techniques.

I looked to the past for guidance, to find the graces we need to save. I want to be an importer. This is not nostalgia; I am not nostalgic. I am not looking for a way back. “From where will a renewal come to us, to us who have devastated the whole earthly globe?” asked Simone Weil. “Only from the past if we love it.”

What I am looking for is the trick of having the same ax twice, for a restoration that renews the spirit, for work that transforms the worker. We may talk of saving antique linens, species, or languages; but whatever we are intent on saving, when a restoration succeeds, we rescue ourselves.”

— Howard Mansfield, The Same Ax Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throwaway Age

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