This month’s #HangoutWithAPOYOnline is with APOYOnline volunteer Teresa Lança Ruivo:
1) We believe that a person so consolidated and and with so much knowledge in the field of preservation as you do not need presentations, but, please, comment briefly about you and your trajectory from your own vision and experience:
My career in the field of conservation and restoration of graphic documents and books began immediately after finishing my bachelor’s degree in conservation and restoration because I started training librarians, archivists and those responsible for documentary heritage collections. After completing my degree in art expertise, I was hired by the National Library of Portugal where I worked as a freelancer for two years and in 1997 I joined the Library’s staff where I was responsible for the conservation of the collections (manuscripts, printed materials, current bibliography, cartography, iconography , periodicals and microfilms) until 2021.
At the end of 2021, I took on another professional challenge, this time at the National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon, where I am in charge of conserving drawings, prints and antique books as well as some preventive conservation programs.
These two professional experiences have allowed me to approach collection management in the areas of librarianship and museology.
During this period of time I completed two master’s degrees: one in “Heritage Studies” and the other in “Documentation and Information Sciences”. I am currently a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science, specializing in museology, at the University of Évora.
2) How would you define the current moment of the Latin preservation field in few words?
I believe that the current panorama, in the Latin American field of preservation, demonstrates a great vitality that can be observed through publications on social networks, attendance at meetings and congresses and in the preservation and conservation measures applied to movable and immovable heritage.
However, there is also a large discrepancy between the various Latin American countries in access to specific training in conservation (preventive conservation, curative conservation and restoration), specialized human resources and material resources necessary to guarantee conservation and restoration interventions quality, and that comply with the ethical criteria of the profession.
3) What do you expect for the Latin preservation field in the next 30 years?
I hope that the basic pillars of dialogue and mutual aid verified so far will be maintained in order to encourage and develop preservation in the Latin American community, making it an international reference.
4) Could you indicate three publications that guided your career in the field of preservation?
• The Museum Environment by Garry Thomson, many of the author’s statements are no longer up to date, but when I was studying it was a reference book and allowed us to observe the evolution of the area of preservation.
• NEDCC Preservation Leaflets, https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/overview, these leaflets are essential for quick consultation or discussion of various issues related to the conservation of graphic documents.
• Museology and Conservation, https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/history-heritage/museology-conservation.html, very interesting website for managing collections from a conservation point of view.
5) What message for young people working in the field of preservation would you like to leave?
A conservation professional must maintain an open dialogue with colleagues to build structured and broad thinking in order to respond as best as possible to requests, always maintaining ethics and common sense in the intervention.
You must also stay up to date and minimize your carbon footprint by seeking sustainability in the field of conservation.
Finally, I give some advice that I continue to follow: whenever I have a question, I stop, and look for an answer from/ with my colleagues.