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AIC Imaging Working Group[edit | edit source]

The AIC Imaging Working Group (IWG) was established in the Spring of 2020 in recognition that imaging is important to the ethical and evolving practice of conservation and to develop a professional basis to support conservators with information regarding the growing number of imaging technologies, applications and practices. The IWG is partnered with the AIC Research and Technical Studies (RATS) Specialty Group.

The working group’s purpose is to:

  • Support the conservation community in our discovery and understanding of imaging-related topics and endeavors by increasing communication and encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration;
  • Identify and address, through sustainable collaboration, the challenges that conservators encounter related to imaging resources, practices and objectives;
  • Encourage a consistently high level of conservation imaging by providing resources, solutions, and community through testing, training and standardization.

If you are interested to learn more or get involved, email

IWG Leadership Team : E. Keats Webb (Chair), Adam Neese (Vice Chair), and Wendy Rose (Wiki & Community Lead)

Imaging Wiki[edit | edit source]

The presence of the IWG on the AIC Wiki aims to establish an online, universally accessible platform that encourages participants to share and discuss imaging resources, projects and solutions. The Wiki is intended to be a dynamic resource for the community. Like all wikis, the site’s contents are collaborative and dynamic works-in-progress. You can:

Contributors: Jiuan Jiuan Chen, Dawn Kriss, Dale Kronkright, Anna Serotta and E. Keats Webb.

Imaging Techniques[edit | edit source]

This section will focus on specific imaging techniques for conservation and cultural heritage documentation including information on terminology, applications, tools, workflows, and bibliographies.

Functions of Imaging[edit | edit source]

In conservation and cultural heritage management, imaging has several evolving functions:

  • a detection function (when or where did something change?)
  • a diagnostic function (what is changing?)
  • a comparative function (what is the rate of change?)
  • an evaluative function (have conservation practices had the desired impact?)
  • in addition to the representational function (what did it look like before, during or after treatment?)

This section explores the functions of imaging into five categories (Visual representation, detection of change, characterization, quantification, interpretation) in order to :

  • Help conservation professionals better define the goal(s) of their imaging work
  • Track the development of relevant imaging techniques in other fields
  • Encourage an ongoing dialogue around the precision, validity, reliability, relevance, accessibility and long-term usability of evolving imaging technologies.

In conservation imaging, we must acknowledge our role in creating new images and likenesses of cultural objects. The roles of stakeholders and descendant populations must be solicited and incorporated to determine what protocols and methods of care are acceptable and required and what restrictions and conditions must be exercised in the creation and distribution of our images.

Community Resources[edit | edit source]

Community Resources will pull together existing documents and resources related to imaging for sharing within the community. These will include workflows, discussions of best practices and standards, presentations, publications, data analysis case studies, and equipment resources, etc. As time passes, this section will host legacy documents as well as current resources, building the data for the history of photodocumentation/imaging in our field.

Community Projects[edit | edit source]

The IWG aims to encourage active collaboration to conduct projects evaluating workflows, targets, and calibration standards. This area of the Wiki will list and link to ongoing projects that are being actively investigated to address imaging challenges and resolve issues within the community.

Interpretation of Results[edit | edit source]

This section of the Wiki is intended to be a resource for examples of interpreted imaging results which can be used to evaluate and interpret one’s own results. AIC members have a lot of good examples of images or image sets that could be beneficial resources for the community. This includes an image repository with concise metadata, annotations and provenance information, and is organized by techniques and materials, if possible.