ConCode: a space to explore data science techniques applied to cultural heritage

Bhavesh Shah, Annelies Coseart, Melissa King

15 Jul 2021

ConCode (‘Conservators Coding’ or 'Coding for Conservators') is a meeting space for discussing, showcasing and asking questions about data science and coding, and how it can be applied in the museum world.

Coding can, at first, seem intimidating, but most people don’t realise they have already coded in some form. If you have ever written formula in Excel, you have coded before.

The initiative was created based on a growing need in the field to efficiently deal with large and complicated datasets. This has resulted in an increased interest in coding, data analysis, statistics, machine learning, and visualization.

Examples of areas within the conservation field that have gradually started integrating coding and automated processing into their workflow are:

  • Preventive conservation (e.g. temperature, relative humidity, pests, light levels, pollutants, vibration,  incident reports)
  • Conservation science (e.g. instrumental analysis, experimental data)
  • Building science (e.g. structural health monitoring, moisture levels, solar gain, infrared, salt levels, occupation)
  • Imaging (e.g. 3D modelling, X-ray, IR photography, image recognition)
  • Registration and archives (e.g. data mutation, automated data imports, image recognition)

ConCode has been created to allow members of the museum world to discuss and develop tools in a friendly and informal environment. We will assume that everyone is new to coding, and this will be a ‘safe-space’ for people to pose any questions, no matter how big or small, and we will work together to answer them.

We encourage networking across disciplines and sharing of ideas. This space is not limited to Conservators, it is open to anybody interested in using data science in cultural heritage, we aim to assist the needs related to cultural heritage preservation and research. 

We recognize the value in working with experts from varied fields and we promote the participation of anyone interested in this scope of data science. In order to facilitate this, ConCode has a Slack channel and organizes informal monthly meetings that can focus on learning, presentation of research, assistance to coding problems, and more.

Our previous talkers have created tools to make conservation easier and have highlighted important developments that will bring changes to the way we work. The following talks are now available on our new ConCode website

We hope that you will see the value of signing up to ConCode. Join us for interesting and lively discussions, and have fun solving our coding dilemmas together, as well as drinking lots of tea.

To join sign up here, and the invitation link to the Slack channel will follow.




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