PMCC Begin Contributing to PMG's WIKI

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Created: June 2020 by Stephanie Watkins, former AIC-PMG PMCC WIKI Chair

Welcome To the PMG'S Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog (PMCC) - WIKI Instruction Page


This WIKI is YOUR RESOURCE. Please contribute for the benefit of the profession and your professional colleagues.

Why should I contribute to this WIKI and why does this resource exist?

  • The PMCC WIKI is a free, quickly accessible, world-wide online subject compendium of current understanding and practices within the AIC professional photographic materials conservation community.
  • Information provided within can guide, illuminate, and inspire, yet does not replace the necessary personal due-diligence of professional research and practice. Readers assume all responsibility for their use of this information.
  • Bibliographic references provided in most sections guide readers to more rigorously in-depth published and online resources.

How Do I Contribute to the PMG's PMCC Wiki?

  • Current AIC members can contact the AIC e-editor for a Wiki creator (aka editor, coder) user access.
    • Usernames are usually a first initial (or two) and last name for transparency.
    • Log in is case sensitive and computer cookies must be disabled.


  • Want to work specifically on the PMCC Wiki? Please contact the PMCC Wiki Chair for guidance.
  • If you would like to contribute, but don't want to become a Wiki creator we can pair you with someone who will be able to enter your content. Please contact the the PMCC Wiki Chair.

How Do I Work Within the WIKI?

  • The AIC WIKI main page (near the very end) hosts numerous resources available for learning, including the Wiki Editors' Resources page, two YouTube training and informational videos (one for beginners, one for more advanced MediaWIki instruction), a practice area called a '"Sandbox", and mediaWIKI help sites.
  • With AIC WIKI creator status, you may edit or contribute to any section within AIC's WIKI. Courtesy expectations exist within the AIC WIKI group, however, as the WIKI developing process varies between AIC groups. Before editing or changing a section created by another specialty group, AIC committee, or on AIC's main landing page, please contact those specific WIKI creators (found in each page's history log) and inform them of your ideas or intent.


  • The PMCC WIKI operates as a developing WIKI, so you may create, add, edit, any text, images, or video as is beneficial and appropriate for educational content regarding photographic materials conservation or science. The WIKI is not designed to host entire research papers nor advertising, however.
    • No need to ask permission nor submit proposals for creating content within the PMG's PMCC WIKI.
  • The PMCC WIKI committee can provide one-on-one help, refreshers, or additional training to you via various phone and video platforms. Please contact us!
  • Please retain the order and bulleted format of the main PMG PMCC WIKI landing page, yet you are welcome to add pages under appropriate category groupings and to create new category grouping titles as appropriate.


A Few Beginning Tips

  • "Play" in the "Sandbox" until you feel comfortable with coding.
  • Make your user page a holding place for codes and concepts you wish to remember, at least initially. Just remember, it is viewable by all.
  • Start with our specialty group specific PMG template page if you are creating a new section.
  • Choose a title that is clear, succinct, and can easily yield desired results when searched. For example, concepts grouped together, such as Releasing, Detaching, or Separating or Humidifying, Drying, and Flattening. It is tidier to be thoughtful about naming pages rather than re-coding and re-directing pages.
    • Copy the code into your new page and replace old with new content.
    • Delete whatever coding you don't need.
    • Remember to Save.
    • Keep adding content and saving as needed.
    • Using the template helps standardize pages within the PMCC WIKI.
    • The template also ensures organizational hierarchies, internal coding links between pages, and Category terms (important for searching) are included.
  • Be stylistically consistent in your organization of content.
  • To help you within Edit mode, utilize the light blue auto-coding banner (bold, Italic, links, embed files, references, help, etc.) across the top of the Edit box.
  • Not sure of the coding you need for something beyond the auto-coding banner nor found in the resources or style guides?
    • Go to a page you like or the PMG template page to copy the codes.
    • Click on Edit tab.
    • Copy the coding you need.
    • Exit the Edit box WITHOUT SAVING.
    • Paste the coding in your page's Edit box. Voila!
    • Remember to substitute your own content if you aren't copying a specific internal link between pages.
    • Then Save.
  • Within the Edit box, adding and standardizing Category terms helps with searching.
    • A listing of category terms already in use is found under the Special Pages link found in the blue bar across the bottom of the screen, as well as at the end of most PMCC WIKI sections.
  • Under Summary add a brief description of the content you are adding, editing, or deleting.
  • Preview button is your friend!!! Check your coding appearance before saving. Not to your liking? Change it, then Preview again until you do like it. Then Save.
  • Save periodically and systematically, especially if you tend to have internet drop-out issues.
    • Oops?! You saved something and regret it? Immediately use the "undo" button found within each page's History log.
  • Besides the Wiki Editors' Resources pages and links within, review the AIC wiki user guidelines. Remember it is a guide, not absolute requirements for the PMCC.
  • Have fun investigating what other groups are doing and how they are doing it!

What Sections are Currently Being Developed?


The PMCC WIKI operates as a developing WIKI, so all PMG members are welcome to add to any existing section or to develop new sections appropriate to their specialist knowledge concerning the science, preservation care, and conservation of photographic materials.

  • To help guide you, sections that currently need much specialist knowledge content include (alphabetically listed):
    • Digital Prints
    • Environmental Standards and Guidelines for Storage
    • Mold and Foxing Remediation
    • Preservation of Plastic Materials in Photographic Materials; (primarily focused on film-based support materials)
    • Preservation Housing: Materials and Formats
    • Pressure-Sensitive Tape and Attachment Removal from Photographic Materials
    • Washing, Bleaching, and Stain Reduction
  • Many sections would benefit from copyright-free images or videos, preferably ones created by individuals
  • The section on "Unanswered Questions" is for posting questions regarding photographic material conservation that can either be answered or used as prompts for research.
  • No pre-permission, nor approval is needed.
  • As a photographic materials conservator or scientist you are a specialist in your own right. Play to your strengths. Share what you love and know best.
    • What are your interests? What are your professional passions?
    • What are your strengths? Excellent writer, editor, organizer, photographer, videographer, bench conservator, collections care specialist, researcher, scientist?
    • What has your work taught you? What would you share with a student or a distant colleague if you could?
    • Do you know a specific helpful procedure, yet maybe not used often by you? Contributing it might be useful for someone else.
  • The balance is in providing helpful content to professional colleagues without creating extremely detailed step-by-step instructions that might be misapplied by a non-professional, thereby causing irreparable damage or harm. Remember anything posted here can be accessed by anyone around the world.
  • Tone of the text should be balanced and moderate, and always professionally respectful, including warnings when appropriate.
    • Include multiple points of view and opinions within the professional membership if one clear consensus regarding working methods or cause of a condition does not yet exist.
    • Note the current disclaimer: The Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog is written by members of the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works as a convenience for the membership. The treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. Best professional judgement is necessary when using or interpreting this provided information. The reader assumes responsibility for any application results.

What Do I Add?


Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What do I feel is important information for an educational site regarding the conservation of photographic materials?
  • What am I a subject matter specialist regarding?
  • What have I researched, queried colleagues about, or amassed technical knowledge or skills concerning?
  • What information have I noticed missing (did not come up in my searches) or wish existed?
  • What recently attended professional workshop excited me? What information did I learn that I can add to update the PMCC WIKI?


Where and What to Add

  • Single concept or explanation missing? Create a sentence or two to add to existing text or missing materials to a list.
  • Larger concept or method missing? Add an explanatory paragraph, or an image or a short video.
  • References, resources, or links missing? Add bibliographic content and internal and external (to AIC WIKI) links within appropriate sections.
  • Subject missing altogether? Create a new page and develop content.
  • Noticing typos, syntax problems, unclear descriptions? Please correct these when found.
  • Bibliographic information generally uses the Chicago Manual of Style for citations. Examples at AIC Wiki Style Guide.

How Do I Generate Content?


Understand how you work best.

  • Need reminders? Create a calendar reminder, a smartphone timer, a post-it-note, etc. Use whatever systems work for you.
  • Need deadlines or a strict, recurring schedule? Create a workable, sustainable schedule for yourself.
    • Some colleagues have negotiated with their employers specific hours out of their work days, for example, 4-hours a week such as a morning or afternoon, as paid WIKI creator time.
    • Creating short-term, subject-focused, specific efforts seems to be most sustainable regarding time and energy when juggling other professional and life demands.
  • Like to stay busy, utilizing small snatches of time?
    • Create a folder (electronic or physical) or utilize programs such as Word.doc, Google.doc to record developing content thoughts or note references.
    • Use bibliographic or other organizing software.


Approaches That Work for Many

Developing useful content for the PMCC WIKI by photographic materials conservators seems to work best as solo or small group efforts focused on defined, limited subjects of their current interest. Arrange for one-on-one real time help from a PMCC WIKI committee member if you are new to coding.

Create content by yourself

  • Decide on a subject, a topic, of interest.
  • If not an expert within this area, research, contact colleagues and converse, brainstorm, reinforce knowledge recently received as needed. It's a great way to keep up with advances within the profession!
  • Organize your thoughts as to where your information should reside.
  • Create a rough outline to organize and arrange your content.
  • Begin writing/typing. You can either work directly within the WIKI, coding as you go, or work first in a Word.doc or other wiki, like Google.doc, then import later.

Create content with others

  • Even if you are writing and creating content yourself, person-to-person communications absolutely work best for developing content.
    • Social events in person, phone calls, video chats, and email exchanges can all be extremely productive.
  • A proficient WIKI coder works together with another conservator, perhaps a mature, senior, or soon-to-retire colleague with much knowledge and no interest in learning coding.
    • This exchange can be accomplished in person, over the phone, over an internet video link.
  • A conservation "learning pod" with common interests convenes whether in the same geographical area or online.
    • Meet via video or audio chat with one person coding works best.
    • Review current content, brainstorm new content and how best to describe and share information.
    • Maintaining a regular schedule (for example, every month on the same day at the same time; Third Friday between 10-11 am) works best.
  • Similar to a "learning pod" situation, host a WIKI-Edit-a-thon type event with smaller groups of colleagues with similar interests to gather for a set period of time and focus on a subject.
    • This exchange can be accomplished in person, over the phone, and over an internet video link.
    • Please note: only one person should code in one page at a time. Two people coding concurrently will "erase" each other's efforts.

After content is created

  • Remember to add every contributor's name at the top of the section in "Contributors". Names are listed alphabetically by last or family name.
  • The History log captures the dates, so no need to add the dates you worked. Dates given are the section initiation and the original paper-print chapter dates when relevant.
  • Re-read and edit, after a time.
  • Ask other friends and colleagues to review, edit, comment, or contribute themselves to develop it further.
  • REPEAT! Until content is where you or your group thinks it is comprehensive.
  • Let the PMCC WIKI Chair know: Once any section is considered "done", reviewing and peer editing by colleagues not involved in the creative process begins.
  • Advertise your efforts on your favorite social media platforms, including the AIC PMG and WIKI Community Forums.
    • Spread the news that you contributed to the PMCC WIKI. Suggest colleagues should also!

How do I Join the PMCC WIKI Committee?

  • Any current AIC-PMG member that wishes to join the PMCC WIKI Committee may do so without nomination, vote, or appointment regardless of current AIC membership status level. In addition, the Photographic Materials Group Chair may also appoint chairs and committee members (per Rules of Order, 2020).
    • The committee does not have a formalized set quota limit nor restrictions as to composition. All PMG members are welcome!!!
    • Volunteer yourself! Your unique skills and talents, time and effort are appreciated! A wonderful time to join is NOW.
    • Please contact the PMCC WIKI Chair with your interest to join the committee.
  • What does the PMCC WIKI Committee Do?
    • We are WIKI cheerleaders, spreading the word and encouraging contributions amongst colleagues, along with identifying appropriate content inclusion.
    • We help train and guide colleagues with formatting content. Therefore, familiarity with or willingness to learn the MediaWIKI software used is essential.
    • We remain the primary creators, writing most of the PMCC WIKI content.
      • Directly contacting colleagues for contributions, editing, reviewing, and guidance.
      • Researching printed materials, identifying content from professional presentations and from online and virtual resources.
      • Functioning as liaisons for non-coding photographic materials conservators whether AIC members or not.
    • We brainstorm and discuss WIKI content inclusion and organizational approaches within PMCC and within the greater AIC WIKI.
    • We adapt to the changes in AIC's WIKI platform and monitor development. We fix links, improve coding, catch typos and redundancies, and standardize appearance.
    • We inform the PMG membership of our activities, new sections and developments within the greater AIC WIKI through social media and the WIKI itself. The PMCC WIKI Chair reports updates during the annual PMG business meeting.
    • We participate in the AIC WIKI Community Forum and work with other AIC WIKI contributors as desired.

PMG PMCC WIKI Is Your Resource

The PMG PMCC WIKI will only develop and maintaining usefulness if it's members value the content enough to contribute their ever expanding and enormous breadth of knowledge. Any current AIC PMG member of any membership level may add content to the PMCC WIKI without joining the PMCC WIKI Committee. All are welcome. Please contact the PMCC WIKI committee members if you have questions. We exist to help you in our mutual informational and educational endeavor!


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