"Conservation means all the processes of looking after
a place so as to retain its cultural significance."
"Conservation is based on a respect for the existing fabric,
use, associations and meanings. It requires a cautious approach
of changing as much as necessary but as little as possible."
ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999, Australia
"[Conservation entails] Hands-on intervention techniques
applied to the physical forms of museum, archive, and library
materials and objects to achieve chemical and physical stabilization,
in order to extend their useful life and ensure their continued
Benchmarks in Collection Care for Museums, Archives and Libraries:
A Self-assessment Checklist (PDF format file
to download), re:Source,
for Museums, Archives and Libraries, 2002, p. 15
"Conservation: All actions aimed at the safeguarding of
cultural property for the future. The purpose of conservation
is to study, record, retain and restore the culturally significant
qualities of the cultural property as embodied in its physical
and chemical nature, with the least possible intervention. Conservation
includes the following: examination, documentation, preventive
conservation, preservation, treatment, restoration and reconstruction."
"Preventive Conservation: All actions taken to mitigate
deterioration and damage to cultural property. This is achieved
through the formulation and implementation of policies and procedures
in areas such as lighting, environmental conditions, air quality,
integrated pest management; handling, packing and transport,
exhibition, storage, maintenance, use, security; fire protection,
and emergency preparedness and response."
D. Glossary, Code
of Ethics, Canadian
Association for Conservation of Cultural Property
and of the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators.
"A conservator is someone who is involved in the care
and treatment of objects of artistic or historical significance.
Qualified conservators are highly skilled practitioners with
years of training and experience. Unfortunately, there are also
individuals who call themselves conservators but who are unqualified
or do not abide by professional standards. Consequently, it
is important to be careful in selecting a conservator.
"Conservation treatments can often be complex and may
involve some risk to the object. Because a high degree of expertise
is required, conservators generally specialize in one particular
field such as paintings, books or artifacts. Experts in preventive
conservation are usually qualified to provide advice or services
for more than one type of collection."
is a conservator?, Canadian