Treatments > Conservation

Definition

"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 availability."

Benchmarks in Collection Care for Museums, Archives and Libraries: A Self-assessment Checklist (PDF format file to download), re:Source, The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, 2002, p. 15

"Conservation means all the processes of looking after a place so as to retain its cultural significance." (Article 1.4)

"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." (Article 3.1)

Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999, Australia ICOMOS

"Even with the best preventive care, museum conservators need to perform treatments on objects to stop and, as far as possible, remedy ongoing deterioration and damage. These may result from the inevitable processes associated with the aging of the materials, from 'inherent vice' where the use of certain materials and techniques in the manufacture of the object creates problems for its preservation, or from human intervention (earlier restorations, handling errors, etc.)."

Conservation Treatment Development, Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education

Resources

Preventive Conservation, Conservation: The Getty Conservation Institute Newsletter, Volume 15, Number 2, Summer 2000, Getty Conservation Institute.

  © 2002-2012 Heritage Stewardship     contact