ARCS Courier Resources
ARCS Technology for Remote Courier Practice
The Courier Sub-Committee assembled this resource of platforms and equipment that are available to aid in the process of remote courier practice. Products listed are examples that have been used with success by ARCS members but other similar items may work well. The handout will be updated regularly. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions that you would like to contribute to the list.
ARCS Courier Statement and Courier Decision Tool
There are many variables unique to individual situations that institutions must weigh to decide upon courier usage. Travel restrictions, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization in Spring 2020 to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), altered museum courier policies and procedures severely affecting the global museum and cultural heritage profession. In order to safeguard traveling collections, museum staff utilized remote courier methods to assist in the implementation of requisite safety protocols. The emergence of new technological innovations offered additional tools, such as electronic devices, online platforms, and contracted professionals. These tools may be used singularly or in combination to enable staff to supervise transit, installation, and deinstallation of objects.
Over the course of the first year of the pandemic, members have shared both positive and negative feedback highlighting the challenges and benefits of implementing remote courier methods. The following questions arose: Is a remote courier model sustainable? How does this impact the work of registrars and collections specialists? Is a remote courier the best choice when safeguarding against damage? Upon reflecting on these questions and concerns, ARCS recognizes that universal answers do not exist. However, ARCS has developed a Courier Decision Tool that promotes a series of guidelines for decision making when considering how to use a courier for the safe travel of objects during the time of COVID-19 and beyond. The Courier Decision Tool is a means to standardize methodology and provide a rigorous approach to risk assessment, helping institutions make their own decisions. ARCS recognizes that the Courier Decision Tool is not static. It will be updated as new research and methods emerge to support case-by-case courier decision-making informed by institutional policies or preferences.
The content for the ARCS Courier Decision Tool was developed and reviewed by a constituency of colleagues in the collections care and conservation fields in art, history, and science museums as well as directors from institutions that utilize couriers for loans and exhibitions. The tool has incorporated solutions for a range of scenarios to address a variety of considerations. We encourage members to use the tool to increase communication and contribute to a culture of collaboration and trust.
- Art Institute of Chicago-Loan Information-https://www.artic.edu/collection-information/loans
- Art Institute of Chicago-Virtual Courier Checklist-https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wKvqJwPP1d72su_BXY-nCN5uGFoM0HC1U5VAyEogrPI/edit
- Being a museum courier, COVID style, Fitwilliam Museum blog article-https://blogs.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/conservation/
- Courier Principles, Jointly prepared by The National Gallery, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A post-pandemic framework for evaluating courier requirements for loaned objects from their collections.
- Exhibitions during Covid-19: museums turn to 'virtual couriers' to protect unchaperoned art-https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/covid-19-virtual-couriers
- What The MFA's Delayed Basquiat Show Tells Us About The Future Of Art Exhibitions-https://www.wbur.org/artery/2020/10/13/museum-fine-arts-basquiat-art-exhibit-future
Tools & Technology
GPS tracking devices
Digital Conditions Reporting Tools
Artevolve webinar: The Role of Bookend Couriers in Safeguarding Artistic Heritage
ArtEvolve webinar with Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Atelier 4
Join Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Aterlier 4 and chairman of ICEFAT and Articheck Founder and CEO Annika Anderson, Mackenzie Garrity, Head of Digital Marketing at Articheck, sit down for the weekly ArtEvolve webinar series presented by Articheck to discuss virtual courier work, and logistics management.
Fine Art Shipping Protocols and Trends For The Pandemic, Articheck Webinar
For the Love of Art YouTube Channel
A blog set up by people in the museum logistics sector to share news and information from different countries about how to work through the pandemic COVID-19
American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Virtual Couriering Wiki
AIC's Collection Care Network resource for virtual couriering.
Art Services Worker Safety Coalition
Comprising of representatives from museums, collections, art handlers, shippers, professional associations and unions, the ASWSC’s mission is to create baseline universal safety guidelines for workers that are specific to the needs of the art world and its satellite industries.
For the Love of Art
'For the Love of Art' is a blog set up by people in the museum logistics sector to share news and information from different countries about how to work through the pandemic COVID-19. The platform is a non-profit and non-affiliated group of professionals that includes registrars, conservators, insurance brokers, and fine art shippers.
The Registrar Hour
This website is designed to host online resources for museum registration and collections management professionals, who are currently dealing with the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus) pandemic situation.
UK Registrars Group
A forum for communication and co-operation between registrars, collection managers, exhibition organizers and other museum professionals in fields related to the work undertaken by registrars
ARCS is gathering resources that might be found useful for those who act as couriers for their institutions. If you come across a resource you would like to have included please email email@example.com.