Choosing a Specialty

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Because conservation is a multi-disciplinary field, it is beneficial to gain as much experience as possible during the emerging years. Specializing before graduate education is not necessary and most North American training programs provide experience in the different specialties. To learn more about the various aspects of conservation, visit other conservation labs, talk to conservators, conservation scientists, preventive conservators, collection managers, etc., about their work. There are also reading materials available that discuss different specialties and special ethical considerations for each. Education and Training Committee Recommended Reading Lists Wiki page on Materials and Treatment.


Webinar on Conservation Science

ECPN hosted the webinar Pathways into Conservation Science to learn more about the different ways one can train to become a conservation scientist. The program featured three speakers: Dr. Tom Learner, Head of Science at the Getty Conservation Institute; Dr. Gregory Smith, the Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and Dr. Robyn Hodgkins, the Charles E. Culpeper Fellow in the Scientific Research Department at the National Gallery of Art. The presenters shared their own diverse training experiences, touching on the history of education in conservation science and the current pathways into the field. ECPN hopes that the webinar will provide guidance to individuals considering careers in conservation science, current students and post-doctorates entering the field, as well as inform emerging conservators. (April 22, 2016)

Webinar on Preventive Conservation

Preventive conservation is an integral part of many cultural heritage jobs, encompassing any actions meant to minimize the deterioration of collections. But what does this look like in practice, exactly? And how is this role addressed in conservation training? This webinar featured an introduction to the concept of preventive conservation and highlighted potential career paths into this vital specialization.

ECPN Specialty Interview Series

Starting in 2016, ECPN has been creating a series of interviews to promote awareness of conservation specializations. These interviews aim to offer insights into the unique skills and training involved with these special disciplines. Each series attempts to represent a range of voices, including perspectives from emerging professionals and seasoned practitioners with varied training pathways. Links to these Specialty Group Interviews are also available on the ECPN Interview Series webpage.

East Asian Art

Electronic Media

Wooden Artifacts

Libraries & Archives

Photographic Materials