PROVENANCE SERVICES

Our provenance services focus on the origins of things. We investigate the past ownership, custody, location and meanings of client propery and work, typically in fragile and conflict affected states.
Provenance is a term used across a wide variety of fields, from art, archives and libraries to archaeology and data science. It refers to the historical details that can be attributed to an object in order to establish its lineage, authenticity and value, and support formal and legitimate claim to it. It applies to tangible artefacts such as rare books, manuscripts, and artefacts, as well as intangible artefacts such as electronic data and intellectual property.

Our client-driven activities have included short-term database design and long-term document rescue and preservation. Our self-initated R&D focuses on provenance-aware systems, tools and data that can help clients calibrate their research requirements. Pro bono work has focused on archival projects in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, and Somalia.
Core Services
Project management: for distressed environments, where local conditions and skills require technologically expedient and procedurally innovative approaches to implementation.

Archival consulting: focused on preservation, including appraisal, description, cataloguing and indexing (or "listing"), digital capture and rendering, databasing, and exhibition design.

Tailored research: including scoping and retrieval, collection research, market reviews, and reporting and analysis of heritage issues.
Experience
We are currently involved in projects at various stages of maturity. Our intellectual engagement with the field includes coverage and analysis of imperiled cultural heritage in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Mali, and Syria. Our practical experience has been with difficult-to-access document collections in distressed environments. This includes pro bono advisory services to the South Asian Research and Resource Centre (SARRC) in Islamabad, Pakistan, and self-initiated and exploratory efforts in Afghanistan, Burma, and Somalia.

The most advanced and complex of our initiatives is in Afghanistan, where we are managing and implementing a two-year, fully-funded document preservation project. Its working components, which are broadly illustrative of our heritages services, include:
  • Overall project design and management
  • Archival indexing and processing
  • Object scanning and digitisation
  • Image and data post-processing
  • Translation (primarily from Pashto and Dari)
  • Collection management and website implementation
  • Online exhibit design