Products and Services of The ETHER Initiative

The ETHER Initiative offers a wide range of products and services within the scope of heritage management.

Collection 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.

Conservation Materials

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.:

Exciting new workshops in 2015:

  • Physical and Digital Museum Exhibits
  • Preservation Technologies
  • Paper Conservation
  • Records Management
  • Copyright in the Digital Age

Visitor Experience

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

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:

Governance

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.

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