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Preserving artworks for future generations with iCAS FS

The task of a museum is to collect, preserve, research, exhibit and communicate art. Ensuring the quality and integrity of artworks as well as their preservation for future generations is of great importance. Digitization makes this task more difficult (keyword: data growth), but at the same time simplifies the work, as new solutions optimize workflows.

The success at a glance:

Securing artworks for future generations with focus on immutability and scalability
Protecting data integrity of archived video, photo and image works with the hardware-independent solution iCAS FS
Storage of extremely large files with good performance
Redundancy of data and automatic verification of its integrity
The organization

One of the largest art collections in Switzerland

The organization at a glance:
  • Organization: Kunsthaus Zürich
  • Industry: Museum | Arts & Culture
  • Employees: About 140
  • One of the largest video artwork collections in Switzerland

The Kunsthaus Zürich enjoys international renown. Generous gifts from private donors and purchases made possible by the support of around 19,000 members help the Kunsthaus add to its collection every year, expanding existing areas and opening up new ones. Today it is one of the largest art associations in Europe.

The challenge

Progressive digitization of the art business

"With more than 700 video works, the Kunsthaus Zürich has the fourth largest video collection in Switzerland. In the restoration department we have to act in a timely and proactive manner before the process of decay of the artworks begins or the storage media can no longer be read due to technological change.”

Kerstin Mürer
Director of the restoration department, Kunsthaus Zürich

The central task of a museum is the preservation of artworks for future generations – in high quality, unchangeable and secure for the long term. This task takes on completely new dimensions in a digitized art world. In addition to the conversion and digitization of originally analogue works, the number of "born-digital" works, such as digital videos and photos, is also increasing. These must also be stored securely and for the long term. The Kunsthaus Zürich (KHZ) faced this challenge.

 

Since 1980, the Kunsthaus Zürich has been buying analogue and digital video tapes – currently with file sizes of up to 300 GB per video. While many other museums use LTO magnetic tapes for this task, the Kunsthaus Zürich quickly realized that a digital and flexible solution should be used.

"The IT department clearly searched for a solution that integrates well into our standardized IT environment and minimizes the administrative burden on both users and IT. This point combined with the convincing support from iTernity and the flexibility in choosing the hardware provider convinced us as a complete package.“

 

Markus Spiri
Head of IT, Kunsthaus Zürich

The solution

The archive as a cornerstone for process optimization

The requirement profile for the long-term archive was clearly defined:

  • Archiving of large files with a size of 300 GB and more
  • Backup and automatic monitoring of data integrity
  • Redundancy of archive data through mirroring across multiple locations
  • Easy handling and good performance
  • Future security and planning reliability with low total costs (TCO)

"Only with iCAS FS we are able to safely store our artworks such as videos, photographs and digitized works. None of the evaluated alternative solutions could guarantee comparable flexibility, performance and security.“

 

Kerstin Mürer
Head of Conservation, Kunsthaus Zürich

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