This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation stories from around the web and in the news.

QR Codes in Cemeteries

Preservation and Place expanded on an NBC News story about a new trend at cemeteries – QR codes.  The same codes you see on product packaging and advertisements are now being encoded with information about the life and death of the deceased.  P&P pondered how this technology could be applied to historic cemeteries – creating a dialogue between the past and present.  Expanding on this idea – could QR codes be the future of interpretation at historical sites in general?  I can easily imagine a QR code tucked into the corner of informational signs and panels offering access to more information and resources – photographs, audio, video, etc.

Is this being done anywhere yet?

Floating Airport

Gensler proposed a floating airport in the Thames estuary as a solution for London’s aviation needs. The futuristic design seems completely unrealistic, but it would provide a solution to the large land needs of airports, which sometimes swallow up entire neighborhoods.

Careful Cataloging is Important, Ya’ll!

Turns out that the small arts and science museum I grew up going to has had a rare Picasso piece in storage for half a century. I had no idea! Know why? Neither did they!  The piece had been mislabeled as a work by Gemmaux (the plural of the glass working technique used to make the piece).  Museum curating and preservation are not the same profession, but there is some overlap. Take heed historic house museums with collections! Catalog them carefully! (And maybe review what you have every now and then).

10 Common Preservation Terms

The National Trust pulled together 10 common preservation terms for their Ten on Tuesday series.  If you get confused between renovate, remodel, and reconstruct, head on over to find exactly how they are different and more!



    • Preservation and Place

      I think commercially, many more people use QR Codes than at museums where the technology is still being tested to see if it’s worth continuing to use. There is no simple answer to the worth question. A lot of people don’t know what they are (or how to use them). One cannot just slap a code up somewhere with no instruction and have it be utilized frequently; direction is still needed and a person scanning needs to know if the information linked to by the code is worth their time. The technological ability to actually scan a code is another obstacle: not having a smart phone, data plans, and coverage area. These will all remain issues for a while longer, and as a result the usage of the codes will continue to be small. There is certainly hope though.

      • marthaisbliss

        I would be much more likely to use one in a museum than for a product. In fact, I’ve never used a QR code even though I have smart phone. I think they’re kind of annoying, to be honest.

      • Preservation and Place

        In truth I use them rarely, having only downloaded a scanner application to go through a museum exhibition that had just opened up and had two QR Codes to test the technology for the first time. One took me to a YouTube video and the other to Twitter so I could tweet my reaction, but I didn’t have Twitter on my phone, so that just didn’t work. I wouldn’t have even scanned it had I been told where it would have taken me. That is something I think museums and historic sites need to do better. Where is the QR Code taking me?

        That’s what I think commercial QR Codes do better. “Scan here to take a survey,” “Scan here to go to our mobile site,” “Scan here for a coupon,” etc. Then I can decide if I want to do so or not, rather than feeling almost obligated to out of curiosity and not wanting to miss anything extra.

        I have bad coverage in a lot of areas, especially inside, which makes the process especially annoying, which is why I would like outdoor sites to take up the technology at least to try.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s