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RecorDIM project records, 1994-2009, undated

To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy. See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
Getty Conservation Institute, Field Projects Division, RecorDIM project records

Administrative History

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), a part of the J. Paul Getty Trust, was initially planned in 1982 and began full operation in 1985. Since its inception, the GCI has engaged in a program of scientific research, educational activities, documentation, and the dissemination of information through publications, conferences, workshops, and public programs that include research opportunities for professionals and public lectures. In addition, the Institute has conducted international field projects in Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Europe. The GCI's endeavors are designed to serve the needs of the conservation profession by undertaking work that tackles broad practical or theoretical questions of significance to the conservation field. The Institute develops and refines tools for conservation and shares its expertise with institutions and organizations worldwide so that its efforts have the greatest possible benefit to the practice of conservation.

As a part of its mission, the GCI undertakes conservation projects in partnership in various parts of the world. For the purpose of bringing together information users and providers in the field of heritage conservation, one of these projects was with the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the International Scientific Committee for Documentation of Cultural Heritage (CIPA), a committee of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). The project, known as the Recording, Documentation and Information Management (RecorDIM) Initiative, was intended to explore ways for the GCI to contribute in partnership to raise the level of conservation practice through more effective and improved use of recording, documentation, and information management as a strategic component for the conservation of monuments and sites. The Initiative had its genesis in 1995 when, under the guidance of Robin Letellier, CIPA assembled outreach workshops after its general meetings. The workshop groups found that gaps existed between the users and providers of information for built cultural heritage projects. To identify the gaps and to find strategic ways to fill them, the concept of "Bridging the Gap" was introduced by the GCI in 2000. By 2002 this had become the RecorDIM Initiative, which started with a roundtable held at the Getty Center identifying twenty-five gaps between the information users and providers.

The GCI intended, with the help of partners, to focus on the following: the publication of a manual on Principles and Guidelines for the recording, documentation, and information management of built cultural heritage; the publication of a handbook on the same subject; and the creation and support of a web presence. The program was later expanded to include training initiatives, which were carried out through Architectural Records, Inventories, and Information Systems for Conservation (ARIS) courses, initially organized by ICCROM and later co-sponsored by the GCI.

The group of core collaborators included CIPA, English Heritage, Public Works and Government Services Canada, World Monument Fund, ICOMOS, and the GCI. To accomplish the work 20 international task groups were formed to focus on specific needs and five roundtable meetings were held at various international venues. As part of the training component, four ARIS courses were held in Rome from 2005 to 2009 on documentation methodologies and tools, providing training to 59 mid-career professionals from over 46 countries.

The Initiative lasted from 2002 through 2007 and the project was managed by, first, Field Project staff member Christopher Gray and, then, by department head Francois LeBlanc. Robin Letellier was hired as a consultant to coordinate the Initiative at the international level. Rand Eppich, project specialist and manager of the GCI's Digital Lab, was also a member of the project team and led the ARIS courses.

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