Computer aided graphic documentation for conservation:

Bibliographic review and analysis of best practices, standards and customization (1997 / 2007 / 2017)

Project description

What’s the meaning of Computer aided graphic documentation for conservation looking it through a critical point of view and having attention to the concrete meaning of the term more than the philosophic aspect? What are the methodological and technical challenges offers in these fields and the qualitative research methods in recording and documentation activities?  Defining the needs is the first step toward establishing a project timeline, setting the project goals. The steps will help us to define the work that needs to be done and, mainly, the scope of the project.

As symbolic key points of the proposed project, I’ve selected three reference’s years:

  • 1997

In 1997 GCI has monitored and recorded the condition of the Siqueiros’ mural América Tropical.

Graphic documentation was carried out on site both manually and with tablet computers to record technique of execution, conditions, previous interventions, treatments by the GCI and post-treatment monitoring. Maps were created with computer-aided drafting software to be used as baseline information and for comparison to monitor change over time. (

The documentation tool was implemented by me in collaboration with the GCI staff[1].

  • 2007

Is the date of the publication of two volumes at the end of the project Recording, Documentation, and Information Management for the Conservation of Heritage Places:

  1. Guiding Principles, Robin Letellier, with contributions from Werner Schmid and François LeBlanc; 2007
  2. Illustrated Examples Edited by Rand Eppich and Amel Chabbi; 2007

A wonderful work that needs, at the present time, to be improved and actualized.

  • 2017 (now 2019)

It’s time to re-collect ideas and proposal for Computer aided graphic documentation for conservation (CAGraDoCo), a tool for conservator, a well defined idea ‘bout methodology and practical documentation. The guideline, the objective, the final goal  is to make the computer based documentation  an activity devolved to conservator.

[1] Condition Survey Report  “América Tropical” by David Alfaro Siqueiros. Special Projects: Leslie Rainer, Angelyn Bass, Irene Sen. Documentation Program: Gaetano Palumbo, Mitchell Bishop:  “A series of menus, in AutoCAD release 13, was customized to allow conservators unfamiliar with CAD to carry out the condition survey with minimal training. This was accomplished through the use of “push-buttons”, with combination of symbols and text, which guide the operator through various points of condition reporting, while all complex sequences of commands are performed by macros, hidden in the menus. This was done by creating a series of Auto LISP routines, that were associated with icons and menus. This is commonly done in specialized manufacturingand other areas that use AutoCAD heavily. The customization created an environment, where a relatively complex sequence of commands could then be performed, at the touch of a button” The final technical relation of the research project is “Computer Aided Documentation. Thematic maps for Conservation Condition Survey.  Siqueiros Mural “America Tropical” in the Italian Hall. Los Angeles Customized AutoCAD© menu  and layer naming techniques for conservators “