#NZCCM2020 Abstract: Kristie Short-Traxler

Knowing the Need: Benchmarking for Conservation and Collection Care

Kristie Short-Traxler


Kristie is an accredited conservator with 20 years of experience in preventive and remedial conservation. She has undergraduate degrees in art, chemistry and history from the United States and a double Masters in Conservation from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Prior to her role at MOTAT as Conservation Manager, she worked for 11 years with Oxford University where she served as Head of Preventive Conservation for the University libraries. Her specific work interests include environmental monitoring and pollutant research, colour measurement and disaster planning.

Kristie is passionate about advocacy for conservation and currently serves in two voluntary roles as a CPD Reader for ICON and Vice President of NZCCM where she chairs the membership committee and is also a member of this year’s conference committee.

Statistical methods such as benchmarking have been used increasingly in conservation over the past twenty years as a comparison of efficiency measures of an organization both internally and against those of other similar organizations.

The practice of benchmarking can be key in identifying and tracking the changes in policies, procedures, activities or operations that lead to improved collection care. In recent years, benchmarking has evolved to become more sophisticated, with means of balancing multiple objectives by including a risk management approach for holistic collection care.

In 2017, the Conservation section at MOTAT started measuring the extent to which the Museum is delivering effectively across a range of collection care dimensions, inclusive of security, display, storage and use of collections.

This paper will look at the author’s own experiences with benchmarking through several institutions as well as well as the current benchmarking journey for MOTAT.