Recording the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cuenca (Ecuador, 2008). Photo courtesy of SMARTdoc.

PennDesign’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the University of Leuven are organizing an international conference on advanced digital methods for recording built heritage, titled “Heritage Recording and Information Management in the Digital Age (SMARTdoc)”, scheduled for 19-20 November 2010 on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

This partnership of two universities with a long history of research and teaching in heritage conservation extends to include some of the foremost historic preservation organizations in the world and their work in recording heritage places, including the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and UNESCO Chair for Preventive Maintenance, Monitoring and Conservation; the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Society on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM); the Association for Preservation Technology; and the U.S. National Park Service.

Good decisions in heritage conservation are based on timely, relevant and accurate information about the conditions, materials and evolution of heritage buildings and landscapes. Therefore, documenting, recording and analysis of heritage places is an essential part of their conservation and management.

The rapid rise in new digital technologies has revolutionized the practice of recording heritage places. Digital tools and media offer a myriad of new opportunities for collecting, analyzing and disseminating information about heritage sites. With new opportunities, there are also conflicts, and an intense effort to build digital media into the education of conservation professionals. Issues regarding the proper, innovative and research-focused uses of digital media in heritage conservation are an urgent topic in the global heritage conservation field, and Penn, KU-Leuven and its partners have played a leading role in this area of cross-disciplinary research and practice. The SMARTdoc conference offers a unique opportunity for educators, professionals, heritage institutions, and managers of heritage places to share, exchange, and explore new approaches, best practices, and research results in the area of heritage informatics.

For more information or to register: http://www.smartdocheritage.org/

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