The ETHER Initiative offers a wide range of products and services within the scope of heritage management.
All heritage institutions have collections, such as objects, archives, artworks, oral history, etc… and it is the management of these which is a core function of all such institutions. We offer a range of products and services to support you move towards best practice in collections management.
- ETHER Base Collection Management System: Inventorisation, Documentation, Procedure Engine, and Digital Repository
- SPECTRUM training and workshops
- Inventorising support
- Storage management
We have established an agency of Conservation By Design (CXD) of the UK, who have a vast catalogue of conservation materials and equipment, and who provide their products to some of the world’s top museums. We provide this wide range of conservation materials and equipment, and offer the right advice on effective conservation for all types of needs.
We have localised the CXD catalogue for South African usage, with local price lists. It is our intention to provide these high-quality products at a price as close to the pound equivalent as possible and will not be unreasonably inflating the prices.
Training and Workshops
ETHER has a number of workshops and training sessions planned for 2014 including the following. These are one day in duration unless otherwise indicated.:
- SPECTRUM for best practice collection management (2 days)
- Fixing your Storage: Best Practices for Storage Management
- Archiving (3 days) with Pétria Marais
- Photograph and Film Preservation
with Estelle Liebenberg-Barkhuizen
- Governance of Heritage Institutions
- Principles of Digitisation
- Digitising Heritage Collections (2 days)
- Project Management for Heritage Projects
- Database Development and Management for Heritage Databases (3 days)
- Computer Literacy and Digital Literacy
Exciting new workshops in 2015:
- Physical and Digital Museum Exhibits
- Preservation Technologies
- Paper Conservation
- Records Management
- Copyright in the Digital Age
We offer innovative ways in which you can improve your visitor experience in your museums and heritage sites:
- The Virtual Tour Guide: using mobile phones to provide information to visitors
- Virtual Exhibitions: providing web-based exhibitions to provide access to collections
- Digital Brochures for Exhibitions: as a teaser for the on-site exhibition
- Memories of Past Exhibitions: digital renditions of past temporary exhibitions
- Collections Search and Access
- Visitor Ratings and Comments via Mobile Phone/Tablets
- Visitor Take-Home Memories
Digitisation should always be conducted in the context of an approved strategy. Digitisation can be a costly exercise and it is essential that it is part of the larger corporate strategy of governance, collection management and user experience. We offer the following services:
- Creating a digitisation strategy
- Building digital repositories
- Digitisation projects and project management
All heritage institutions operate under a governance authority, which is normally a Board of Trustees. But what is such a Board supposed to be doing in these complex times of corporate governance? What are the responsibilities of the Board? What must be delegated? And what is the interface between the Board and the management?
These are questions which have no simple answer, and we have set out to define the Element of Governance for Boards of heritage institutions, as a first step towards creating best-practice governance structures throughout the heritage sector in South Africa.