STiCH: Sustainability Tools in Cultural Heritage

Screen capture of the STiCH website displaying the word with each letter filled with colorful patterns and linking the viewer to sections of the website.

The field is beginning to accelerate its movement toward more sustainable and climate-friendly approaches. STiCH is part of that movement. It is a multi-year effort by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities to help the cultural heritage profession make informed choices about its impacts.

We hope you will explore the website, use the tool, and read the case studies and information sheets as they’re added and expanded upon.

Then we hope you’ll contact us with ideas AND stories of how you’ve used the tool in your care for the nation’s cultural heritage at

Planning a Lifecycle Assessment Library for Cultural Heritage Professionals

During 2017 and 2018 I had the pleasure of working with three other Principal Investigators to explore how/if to create a Life Cycle Assessment Library for the materials and processes that cultural heritage professionals use in their daily practice. Sarah Nunberg, a private conservator; Eric Pourchot of FAIC; and Matthew Eckelman an engineering professor at Northeastern University.

We were interested in understanding how we might go about developing an LCA process and library resource for those who care for cultural heritage collections. We wanted to know if we could identify and share useful information and tools to help professionals make choices among materials and activities in ways that benefit their health and the environment.

We won a planning grant was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Research & Development category. The grant recipient was the Foundation – American Institute for Conservation.

We’ve summarized the experience- what we tried and what we learned – in a series of blog posts. You can find the links to them all below. As part of this year’s grant calendar, we plan to apply to NEH for an implementation grant for 2020 -2023. Your thoughts, comments, questions, and encouragement would all help us on that path, so please feel free to read these and comment or question us.

I. Planning an LCA Library

II. What is Life Cycle Assessment and How Does It Help Heritage Professionals?

III. Life Cycle Assessment of Historical Silver Objects now on Public Display 

IV. Planning an LCA Library: A Pilot LCA Workshop: April 2018