KAYAPO COURAGE: “The Amazon tribe has beaten back ranchers and gold miners and famously stopped a dam. Now its leaders must fight again or risk losing a way of life.” ~ Chip Brown.  photography by Martin Schoeller - full story & gallery via National Geographic (January 2014)

  • “YNHIRE expresses his identity as a warrior with a headdress of parrot feathers.”
  • “BEPRO wears the beads and cotton-wrapped earrings that boys receive as part of their naming ceremony.”
  • “ROPNI, an internationally known chief, is one of the few Kayapo who still wear the mahogany lip plate.”
  • “PHNH-OTI has an inverted V shaved into her scalp, a ceremonial female practice.”
  • “BEPRAN-TI wears an impressive display of feathers for his betrothal ceremony, a Kayapo rite of passage.”
  • “MEKARON-TI, the great chief, speaks Portuguese and is a powerful advocate for his people.”

Museums are banding together to bring attention to an important issue facing artist Michael Heizer’s sculpture CITY in the Nevada Desert. Heizer is nearing completion of his dramatic, monumental sculpture—a massive, 1.5-mile-long collection of abstract forms he has developed over the last 43 years. The land surrounding Heizer’s sculpture has faced numerous threats of development into military testing and nuclear waste sites. Help protect this area to preserve Heizer’s life’s work. 

[Michael Heizer. CITY. Photos by Tom Vinetz, © Triple Aught Foundation]

This is a stećak (monumental medieval tombstone) in front of National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thousands of others are scattered around the country, exposed to bad weather conditions, and worst of all - vandalism. 

Save Cultural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina is an IndieGoGo project launched to preserve historical heritage and raise awareness of its importance.

This campaign was submitted to MediumAevum,and I’m more than glad to promote it. Little did the organizers know that I am their neighbor (from Serbia) and I know all too well how little (virtually nothing) the government is prepared to spend in an effort to help museums and historians. 

The guys are raising “only” $1.090, so every reblog, if you’re short on money, can help. You can watch their campaign video here:

Or visit their tumblr arheonorg for more info on their mission and projects.


Fisher Building, Detroit, Michigan
via Auction.com / Curbed Detroit

From a Curbed Detroit article on the auction of this Louis Kahn Art Deco masterwork:

The online auction of the landmark Fisher Building starts today. Built in 1928 with part of a vast auto body fortune, the office high-rise designed by Albert Kahn may go for as little as $30 million. The 30-story art deco palace, often referred to as “Detroit’s largest art object,” welcomes visitors with a lobby containing forty types of marble, which rises three stories to a barrel-vaulted ceiling covered in vivid mosaics by Hungarian artist Géza Maróti.

(read more here)

P.S. See prior post for exterior photos. -Wendy


Mail Rail, Mount Pleasant, London

Short video from ScanLAB documents a detailed 3D capture of a London Underground station as a form of preservation:

A total of 223 terrestrial laser scans were completed to document the existing condition of the Mail Rail site and to digitally preserve the location before major construction work commences. The collected data is intended to form a digital model from which any number of future interactive, visual, animated and immersive experiences can be created for the British Postal Museum & Archive.


Curing with borax and salt.
Been getting lots of curing questions.. there are posts under my DIY projects link with dry preservation and wet preservation but i figured why not do a more simplistic rambling post on home mummification.
You can cure pretty much anything you want with borax and salt… from animal hides to small rodent feet….from full bird capes and skins to entire heads. Depending on what you are curing, your climate and your curing environment the process can take as little as a couple weeks to as long as a year.
Right now ive got a bunch of natural remains in various stages of curing and completion, Since our move to the rainforest environment of the washington woodlands, usual curing time for me has almost doubled thanks to the perpetual rainfall and humidity ( which i LOVE!)
One thing that has been such a perpetual inquiry is how long certain things will take to cure, always remember it depends on size, how much flesh and fat it has, your environment and curing set up.
Hot dry places will have a faster curing time opposed to more warm wet environments… moisture tends to provoke the decomposition process so when you are curing in a wet humid environment its best to go a bit overboard with the borax/salt and exchange it out every couple weeks so the moisture doesnt stay contained within the curing solution and flesh… dry environments dont
necessarily need to exchange out the curing solutions as frequently, mostly when replacing the borax/salt solutions in drier climates its for odor prevention rather than moisture prevention.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size and amount of flesh…. little mice feet,bird wings, small bird feet,smaller tails and the like, take only a couple of weeks to fully cure, this is because they dont have much flesh for the curing solution to soak and extract through.

* when curing, always make sure your curing container is able to breath… last thing you want in any climate is a closed container with fleshy bits trying to cure in something that will
sweat condensation…
Ive done that a few times with mason jars and mice… leading to a bunch of condensation so when i opened the jar there was a nice pop,hiss and a smell you wouldnt believe.

For larger feet like cats,dogs,deer,raccoon etc will take quite a bit longer since there is a much thicker amount of flesh for the solution to work through… for anything larger than a raccoon paw… it helps to rub the borax or salt solution under as much of the skin as you can or make a small slit down the center to fill and rub down with the solution…. you can even
skin what you are curing and rub the skin and flesh down before sewing and putting it back together… every bit helps when mummifying.

How can you tell your piece is done curing?
Well personally i wait until ALLLLLLL moisture is gone from the flesh and limbs are no longer flexible..
I find that leaving even a hint of moisture within flesh even if its been cured , can leave a strange
odor….. so to keep safe and make sure there is no odor or possibility of future decomp, i cure until
everything is dried, stiff as hell and flesh is hard to the touch

Another common question is odor…. odor can come hand in hand with mummification… alot of it depends on how fresh your remains are when you start the process, moisture and general upkeep.
The best thing for me when trying to keep odor down is to always mix in cedar sprigs, burn cedar, layer the curing container with cedar or even pine or use cedar and pine as a stuffer for creatures that have been gutted…. cedar is a great bug and pest repellant,it is a wonderful aid for mummification
( especially when burned or ground and mixed into the solution or rubbed on the flesh)  as well as carrying great magical properties that are beneficial for working with remains.
After the curing process you can take your remains and hot box them with cedar smoke to further mummify and allow it to absorb the very sweet woodland aroma of burning cedar… same for pine, rosemary and various other plants. If that doesnt take away your odor you can repeat the smoke process a few times, air dry, sun dry or give a dry soak in some loose leaf teas/herbs….
Lavender/clove/cinnamon/dried citrus peels/ dried rosemary/rose/mint and pretty much any other aromatic herb would be great for a dry herb bath!

Home preservation and mummification is a cheap affordable way to collect mementos of fallen souls and keep their memory alive.

You can get as technical or intricate as you like or keep it basic and simple.
Rubbing skins with honey and resin, burning herbs to dry and cure, using the sun to naturally mummify, using salt, using borax,
using alcohol, formalin, cornmeal, teas, barks so on and so forth. There are endless possibilities for curing at home.

Please keep in mind that i am NOT a professional when it comes to these things, i am self taught so my ways of preservation may be much different than the professional taxidermist and curator

A curing container with full racoon head. The container is nothing more than
2 plastic potting containers lined with sprigs of cedar and pine, then filled with borax and salt

The racoon head after a few weeks in the solution, notice the eyes, nostrils and even the mouth
have all been filled and packed with borax and salt.

Next curing container is a plant drain tray, again filled with curing solution and sprigs of cedar.
This little tray has about 30 small pieces curing, from mouse heads, to tails and feet, from raccoon paws to squirrel bits.

photo below shows 2 small rat heads, a back raccoon paw, to back rat feet, 1 forward paw and tail.
looking in the container you can see the partial squirrel head, more rat heads, tails, paws and small cedar pieces.

The rat feet and tails are about done, the raccoon paw will need another couple weeks and the heads will probably need another week if not 2.

Photo below
A plate filled with rodent skins, skins have all been rubbed down with salt and borax
and then placed on a plate with a layer of old coffee grounds, layer of borax, layer of salt and of course some
The coffee grounds are experimental for odor control and pest repellant.



This week is Preservation Week - libraries and other cultural institutions across the country are sponsoring events to educate the public about preservation and how we can preserve and conserve both personal and shared collections.

Here at MSU, Special Collections Conservator Bexx Caswell and Media Preservation Librarian Ryan Edge collaborated on a small exhibit about preservation in the libraries.  It will be on view on the first floor of the main library through May 9th.

We will also be broadcasting two ALCTS webinars in the library.  These are FREE events, no RSVP is required.

Moving Image Preservation 101
April 28th, 2-3pm - Reference Instruction Room, Main Library

Digital Preservation for Individuals and Small Groups                                    April 30th, 2-3pm - Reference Instruction Room, Main Library

We are also giving away bookmarks with information about how to preserve your own collections.

To find Preservation Week activities in your area, check out this map.


What’s hiding under that book “repair” tape? Oh, it’s the original gold stamped spine, now ruined! 


Film safety and preservation are essential to ensuring independent storytelling is experienced for generations to come.

From press kits to posters, films to photos, and scripts to scores, Sundance Institute Archives & Collection preserves the history of the Institute and independent storytelling.  Our Collection at UCLA is a groundbreaking partnership that exists to protect, preserve, and restore independent film.

Explore the Sundance Institute Archives & Collection

Illustrations created in collaboration with Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and UCLA Film & Television Archive