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Pop Quiz. Q #1: How long do you want your museum’s collections to last?
r50 years r100 years r 500 years r1000 years r > 1000 years
Q #2: what is your museum doing to meet that goal?
(Use the comment section, below, if you want to share your free-text answer.)
The most explicit and ambitious goal for preservation I know of has been set by a non-profit that isn’t even a museum. The Long Now Foundation has as its mission the promotion of long-term thinking. Reaaally long term thinking. They are tackling the challenge of how to preserve human language and culture for 10,000 years via the Rosetta Project.
Today’s futurist assignment: watch this short (<14 minute) film by Scott Oller telling the story of the Rosetta Project’s aspirations and achievements to stimulate your thinking on your preservation goals and strategies.
Another Long Now Foundation Project is the Clock of the Long Now: a mechanical clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years. Why 10,000 years? “Ten thousand years is about the age of civilization, so a 10K-year Clock would measure out a future of civilization equal to its past.”
Which leads me to wonder, what would the 10,000 year museum look like? How would you create a resilient, adaptive, self-regulating organization that could successfully steward the objects it cares for through that span of time? Sounds like a worthy project …