A trial for the introduction of digital technology in international courses

Practical session
The satellite venue

 Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) have been jointly organizing “the International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper” (JPC) since 1992. The course aims to contribute to the protection of cultural property outside Japan by disseminating the knowledge and techniques of conservation and restoration of paper cultural property in Japan to participants from around the world. Every year, we have invited 10 specialists in conservation from all over the world; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not hold the course in 2020 and 2021. Under these circumstances, we conducted a trial experiment for the introduction of digital technology in international courses from September 8th to 15th. The trial aimed to examine the possibility of holding online courses, which are mainly composed of practical sessions such as the JPC, and to clarify problems toward the realization of the online course itself.
 Before the trial, lectures were held on basic knowledge of adhesives and paper, which are major conservation materials for cultural properties on paper. The lectures were livestreamed and archived. As for the practical sessions, five simulated participants from the staff members of TOBUNKEN were divided into two groups; the one received in-person teaching and the other was given online instructions at a satellite venue. The practical sessions were led by conservators from a certified group holding the Selected Conservation Techniques on “Restoration techniques for mounts.” The participants experienced the process of restoration of a handscroll from cleaning to mounting. On the last day, the lecturers and participants discussed the effectiveness of online courses. Although the merits of the use of ICT devices were recognized, issues of doing practical sessions online, such as the necessity of having basic knowledge and experience of paper conservation in advance, the limitations of technical training through a computer, and the difficulties of troubleshooting the network environment and communication devices were highlighted.

to page top