Guideline 2.6

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Guideline 2.6:
The exhibit fabricator is both willing and qualified to follow all conservation specifications



Why is the fabricator essential to successful exhibit conservation?

Like the exhibit designer, the fabricator is an essential link in the chain of effective conservation. For conservation features to function as intended, they must be fabricated exactly as specified. Therefore it is very important to select a fabricator who is both willing and qualified to follow all conservation specifications.


How to identify a fabricator qualified to create conservation-friendly exhibits

Whether you are selecting a fabricator from in-house or contracting with a fabrication firm:
• Assess the extent to which potential fabricators are aware of conservation concerns. For example, ask if the fabricator has worked with exhibits displaying vulnerable collections and if they understand why the specifications are so exacting and important. Those with some understanding of conservation are likely to appreciate the importance of following specifications exactly.
• Evaluate not only the fabricator’s ability to meet exacting specifications but also their willingness to make the special effort required, such as constructing the necessary prototypes and mock-ups.
• Ensure that the fabricator understands changes cannot be made—for example, to materials, seals, or adhesives—without consulting the designer or conservator.
• In all production contracts, include some form of conservation inspection for critical components. For instance, inspections are needed to verify that the exhibit meets construction specifications, cases meet physical and performance requirements, exhibit lighting functions properly, and object mounts are satisfactory.