Subject: Reminder: Speaker Series - Sandra Vanderwarf - March 21st, Tuesday, 5:30 PM, Natsagdorj library

ACMS Speaker Series
 Barcoding the Memory of Humankind: An Effort to Improve Security of Mongolia’s Cultural Heritage Collections
Speaker: Sandra Vanderwarf

5:30 PM, Tuesday March 21st 2017, American Corner, Ulaanbaatar public library

In recent years, there have been several cases of unlawful possession and sale of Mongolian cultural heritage--most notoriously of the T. Baatar dinosaur by an American fossil hound, but also, regretfully, of artifacts by staff at Mongolian institutions. In response to these cultural heritage crimes, a strict inventory system has been put in place which requires that all museum collections be inventoried every 4 years, and in some cases every 2 years.

While this repetitive inventory is necessary to prevent theft, it’s costly, time consuming, and potentially damaging to the collections because of repeated handling. The funds, personnel and time spent on inventory could be better spent on research, exhibitions, and other preservation projects if a more efficient inventory system were introduced. Barcodes have become an industry standard in achieving efficient inventory systems and have been shown to drastically reduce the amount of time needed to complete inventories. In this talk, Sandra discusses the challenges and successes of prototyping a barcode inventory system at the National Museum of Mongolia.

The project is co-sponsored by the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation and the American Center for Mongolian Studies.

Co-Sponsored by the American Cultural and Information Center, Ulaanbaatar
About the Presenter: Sandra Vanderwarf

She joined the National Museum of Mongolia as a senior cultural heritage preservation research fellow in November 2016. Prior to that, she spent 10 years conserving cultural heritage at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and other cornerstone institutions. Recently, her work has focused on updating museum collection inventory methodologies. She’s currently co-authoring The Collection Inventory Handbook for Museums and Historical Societies, slated for publication by Rowman & Littlefield in Spring of 2018.

For more information visit the ACMS website

Thank you to the American Corner and the Natsagdorj Library for sponsoring this event.


The American Center for Mongolian Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting scholarship in Mongolian Studies.

ACMS, Ulaanbaatar Public Library - East entrance, Seoul street-7, Sukhbaatar District
Phone: (976) 7711-0486, e-mail: 

American Center for Mongolian Studies, 642 Williams Hall, 255 S. 36th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
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