International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
RE-ORG fundamentals: Intro to the RE-…

RE-ORG fundamentals: Intro to the RE-ORG Method

Transcript for RE-ORG Video

[Canadian Conservation Institute signature]

[Canadian Conservation Institute lotus flower symbol]

[Haunting music plays]

NARRATOR: It’s there, the monster lurking in the shadows: your storage area.

[A view appearing to be illuminated by a flashlight beam of light, shown through a spider web, pans around a messy, dark storage room]

NARRATOR: You walk by it, hoping the issue will go away, but it won’t.

[Metal doors with a bolt and lock are shown. On the doors in large, red, hand-painted words is: “COLLECTION STORAGE”, and “KEEP OUT”]

NARRATOR: Guess what? You’re not alone. Most museums around the world struggle with storage.

[Cartoon character appears with a bewildered look on his face and scratching his head wondering what to do about the messy storage space (depicted in Polaroid photos)]

[Polaroid picture changes to a clean storage area]

NARRATOR: But reorganizing your storage area can be an enormously positive, practical, satisfying, and strategic activity! Organized storage helps you regain control of your collection – and may lead to some important discoveries. It’s a brilliant way to review and improve your collection management practices, engage staff and volunteers, build team spirit, strengthen accountability and give you new ideas to connect with your community.

NARRATOR: So, welcome to RE-ORG fundamentals.

[RE-ORG signature, ICCROM signature, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization signature]

NARRATOR: In the next few minutes, we’ll take a closer look at RE-ORG, a method designed by ICCROM, the international centre for the study of the preservation and restoration of cultural property with the support of UNESCO.

[Image of the Canadian Conservation Institute building]

NARRATOR: The Canadian Conservation Institute – Canada’s government agency dedicated to improving collections care – partnered with ICCROM to adapt this method to your needs and help you reorganize your institution’s collection storage area.

[Multiple shots of people organizing a storage room]

NARRATOR: The Canadian Conservation Institute is committed to developing a Canadian network of staff trained in reorganization who can help others.

[Map of Canada]

[Text on screen: Canada Network]

[Indicators appear on various parts of the Canada map and are joined together with multiple lines]

[Crowd of people hold up a sign that reads RE-ORG Saving Collections in Storage]

[Multiple shots of people organizing a storage room]

NARRATOR: RE-ORG is primarily for smaller institutions, with few staff and limited resources. In this video, we’ll walk you through the process, offer tips and suggestions, and acquaint you with the primary resource –the RE-ORG museum’s workbook. RE-ORG is divided into four phases, outlined in the workbook: 1. Getting Started, 2. Creating a Storage Condition Report, 3. Building an Action plan, and 4.Implementation. This workbook has been developed through real-world experience in Canadian institutions and in dozens of institutions all across the world. This workbook has been developed through real-world experience in Canadian institutions and in dozens of institutions all across the world.

[Text on screen: Phase 1, Getting Started, The self-evaluation tool]

NARRATOR: First, you will want to create the best possible conditions for a successful RE-ORG project, beginning with the Self-Evaluation Tool.

[Image of the Self-Evaluation Tool for Museum Storage booklet]

NARRATOR: In less than an hour, the tool gives you a snapshot view of your current storage situation, and helps you to make an initial diagnosis.

[View of the inside of the booklet, where the overall score is circled]

NARRATOR: This tool will help you decide whether it’s time to embark on a reorganization project, or whether you are only be a few quick fixes away from a functional storage area.

[View of a chart from the booklet that is divided into several sections to help you rate your storage]

[Arrow pointing to animated door. Text on the arrow says: Temporary Storage]

NARRATOR: In the Getting started phase, you’ll define your workspaces for the project; these will likely include a temporary storage area where you can move part of the collection so that you can refurbish and rearrange the original space.

[Text on screen: Phase 1, Define Project Workspace]

[Image of an organized storage space]

[Multiple images of people organizing a storage space]

[Shot of before and after drawings of a storage room that was organized]

NARRATOR: You’ll also have to agree on a common objective, build your team, understand what skills your team members have and what tools and materials you’ll need. This is the time to imagine, as a team, what your museum could accomplish with a well-organized storage area.

[A man presents the before and after drawings of the storage area]

[Disorganized storage rooms are shown]

NARRATOR: Now, very important, you’ll document how your storage looks BEFORE the reorganization using photos and video.

[Text on screen: Before]

[The same storage rooms are shown again, but this time they have been organized.]

[Text on screen: After]

NARRATOR: This will give you some powerful images for the various reports and presentations you’ll make later on.

[Text on screen: Phase 2, Storage Condition Report]

NARRATOR: In the second phase – the Condition Report - you’ll document and analyze your storage situation systematically and prepare a concise and convincing report for your management that highlights the key issues that are affecting conservation and access.

[Image of the Phase 2 Storage Condition Report booklet is shown]

NARRATOR: Remember: No meaningful changes can happen without management support!

[Text on screen: Draw Required Floor Plan: Empty floor plan, Collections throughout the building-before, Storage furniture plan-before, storage occupancy-before, fixtures plan-before]

NARRATOR: Floor plans will be one of your most important working and communications tools. Here are the things you’ll draw up: An empty floor plan, one that maps where collection objects may be located throughout the building, one that maps the storage furniture, one that maps where collection and non-collection items are located in the space, one that maps the location of building fixtures.

[Image of a detailed floor plan with green boxes identifying objects located in the building]

[Image of floor plan with storage furniture is shown, followed by another image of the floor plan where different areas are identified with the colours red, green and yellow. A last image shows a floor plan that indicates where lighting features are located]

[Image of a disorganized storage area]

NARRATOR: When you look at your disorganized storage area, the very idea that you can create a plan to tame this monster might seem daunting and discouraging.

[Text on screen: Phase 2]

[Pie chart appears, one piece at a time]

NARRATOR: To make it easier for you, RE-ORG dissects storage reorganization into four components: Building and Space, Furniture and Small Equipment, Management, Collection.

[Image of multiple worksheets]

NARRATOR: You’ll be assessing each component using the worksheets. In building and space, you’ll be looking for major threats to the collection.

[People assessing space in a storage room]

NARRATOR: For the storage furniture, you’ll be looking at space efficiency and whether or not it’s suitable for the collection.

[Text on screen: Furniture and Small Equipment, storage furniture, space efficiency, suitability of the furniture]

[Two people review paperwork]

NARRATOR: For the management and administrative framework, you’ll be looking for possible gaps in policies, procedures, and practices.

[Collection of objects laid out on a table]

NARRATOR: When it comes time to analyze the collection, you’ll be examining what you have (by type, size and number) and you’ll be determining whether any objects have special needs.

[A woman with latex gloves assesses a small doll for inventory]

NARRATOR: This is essential information that will help you make informed choices for your reorganization. The workbook is there to walk you through the process, and the worksheets help you to document, record and organize all this information.

[Text on screen: Phase 2, looking at things differently.]

NARRATOR: By collecting this information, you’ll take a fresh look at your collections.

[Two circles, one with broken objects entitled Vulnerability and another with a chest entitled Value. The circles intersect with each other, this intersection point is illustrated by a warning sign symbol. An arrow points to this intersection and labels it as The Priority]

NARRATOR: For instance, you’ll have to identify which objects are most vulnerable to damage, and determine those which are most valuable to your institution, and you may find that these are, or are not the same.

[Images of multiple worksheets flipping open]

NARRATOR: To finish up Phase 2, you’ll evaluate the collection documentation system, evaluate your small equipment needs, write up the Storage Condition Report and present it to management. There’s a template to help you do this efficiently, so you focus your time on what matters most.

[Text on screen: Phase 3, Storage Action Plan]

NARRATOR: Once you have your management’s support, you can move onto the third phase. It is the development of your Action Plan.

[Two images side by side show the same shelves. The shelves on the right have been maximized to store 25% more items than the shelves on the left.]

NARRATOR: In this phase, you’ll use the Storage Condition Report you prepared in the previous phase to plan your reorganization project in detail.

[Text on screen: Space can be used more efficiently]

[Image of Project Chart Worksheet]

NARRATOR: You’ll need to answer difficult questions like: how many extra storage units do I need and of what type?

[Text on screen: Additional resources packages]

NARRATOR: In the workbook, you’ll find some great additional resources to help you work through those problems using visual and intuitive methods that are fun and easy to use. RE-ORG encourages you to think creatively about finding storage solutions: sometimes, you can re-use or adapt what you already have, making practical use of the limited resources you have, provided it’s safe for collections and for staff. Never forget that you can make significant improvements on a shoestring budget if that’s what you have.

[Various shots of storage solutions such as having long objects standing upright, stacking boxes from largest to smallest on top of one another, items hanging on chains, paintings stacked next to each other with the help of metal dividers, and artefacts hanging off hooks on a wall]

NARRATOR: It’s now time to roll up your sleeves and begin making improvements.

[Text on screen: Phase 4, Storage Reorganization Implementation]

NARRATOR: Throughout phases 1 to 3, you may have uncovered a lot of different issues, some you can potentially address in the short term, and some that may require further discussion, planning and fundraising. Remember that in almost all cases, you’ll need to regain control of the space and access to your collection through what we call the “physical reorganization”. Only after this initial “tidying up” should you tackle things like a collection inventory.

[Multiple shots of people organizing a storage room]

NARRATOR: Use this RE-ORG tracking chart, very handy as your team does the physical reorganization. And don’t forget to document the process in detail.

[Multiple shots of people using a large chart on a wall for tracking storage organization progress]

NARRATOR: From finding practical solutions to reacquaint yourself with your collection, to engaging your team and involving your community, a “RE-ORG” is a reinvigorating experience.

[Text on screen: Wrapping up your RE-ORG]

NARRATOR: The process also brings you into a new kind of “family”: from RE-ORG’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube communities, to our network of trained trainers, to RE-ORG International, there are people and organizations just like yours out there, and you’ll gain a lot by sharing your own experiences.

[Image of RE-ORG International’s Facebook page]

[Text on screen:]

[Image of RE_ORG International’s Twitter page]

[Text on screen: @REORG_storage]

[Image of RE_ORG International’s Tumblr page]

[Text on screen:]

[Image of RE_ORG International’s YouTube page]

[Text on screen: REORG International]

NARRATOR: Finally, don’t be afraid to reorganize, to tame the monster! Many have been in your shoes before.

[Multiple shots of articles about museums enrolling in RE-ORG project.]

NARRATOR: The benefits are well documented, the tools are there for you to use, and our community is there to support you.

[Image of RE-ORG workbook]

NARRATOR: Best of luck!!

[Text on screen: Find the workbook and more information here:]

[Text on screen: Special thanks to ICCROM for their collaboration. Images and footage from RE-ORG Canada (Ontario), RE-ORG Canada (Atlantic), RE-ORG Kurdistan, RE-ORG New Delhi, RE-ORG Assam, RE-ORG Rajasthan, RE-ORG Belgium, RE-ORG China, RE-ORG Greece,

RE-ORG Pacific, RE-ORG Argentina]

[Canadian Conservation Institute lotus flower symbol]

[Canada wordmark]