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Contributers: Nancie Ravenel, Luisa Casella, Rachael Arenstein, Marie-France Lemay, Stephanie Lussier, Rebecca Rushfield, Rian Deurenberg-Wilkinson, Stephanie Watkins

Goals[edit | edit source]

The ultimate goal of this project, spearheaded by AIC's Publications Committeeand the Education & Training Committeewill be to produce an illustrated glossary of terms related to condition and conservation processes that is aimed at the general public. It is envisioned that this public-facing resource will be a printed publication. The content for that publication - short definitions, no longer than a few paragraphs with images as appropriate - will be developed here, but the entries created here will also include more contextual commentary for those terms and translation of terms into other languages.

Project Focus[edit | edit source]

The focus of the Lexicon are terms used in the course of examining works of art and artifacts and terms used to describe conservation processes. To avoid overlap with CAMEO, we will not be defining conservation materials or materials used to make works of art as part of this project.

How You Can Help[edit | edit source]

Become a Contributor[edit | edit source]

  • If you aren't already an AIC wiki contributor, contact the AIC e-editor for more information and to let her know you're interested.
  • If you are already a contributor but would like a refresher on how to use MediaWiki, check out the AIC wiki training video as well as the other resources in the Getting Started section of the Main Page.
  • The AIC Wiki User Guidelines offers general information about the terms of use and the background of this resource.

Contribute resources to the list of authorities[edit | edit source]

What's the go-to authority that you use to define terms you use in your reports and writing? If it isn't listed below, please add it.

Contribute terms[edit | edit source]

Let's create a list that shows the full diversity of the kinds of works of art, artifacts, and structures conservators work with.

  • Check out the list of Lexicon terms.
  • Is there something that's missing? Please add to it.
  • Qualify the term, if necessary. For instance, the term gouge could relate to a condition issue or a wood working tool. By giving the term the name gouge (damage) the intent is clarified.

Create an entry[edit | edit source]

  • To create an entry, click on a term with a red link in the Lexicon term list.
  • Enter the code {{subst:Lexicon}} into the edit box and save the page. This pulls in the format of the Lexicon entry into the page.
  • Hit the Edit tab again, and start writing! You'll find guidance for filling in the article when you open it back up to edit.
  • If you'd like to see what's being envisioned before you start, have a look at crackle or accelerated aging test.
  • Some suggestions for writing a good definition:
  • Start out by seeing how/if the term is defined within the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus, CAMEO, and within this wiki. Those will often be good starting points. Keep in mind that the focus here is on condition terms and conservation process terms, not materials.
  • Search for the term in Conservation OnLine to get a sense of how the term is used in conservation literature.

Citation & Reference Format[edit | edit source]

  • The relevant code for the citation within the text is: [[#ref1|Author's Last Name Year]]
  • The relevant code for the end reference is: <span id="ref1"></span> followed by the full reference.
  • Each reference cited within the discussion on a page should have a unique number: ref1, ref2, ref3, etc.
  • References which support the definition of the term or the choice of related terms but are not specifically cited do not require a reference number.
  • References should be arranged alphabetically by author.
  • Use Chicago Manual of Style (author-date) format for your references.
  • If you use the reference management software Zotero, a collaborative group folder has been created for this project. Most of the resources listed below are already added to the group folder. By joining the group, the folder will be added to your Zotero library making adding formatted citations to your entry (or your examination and treatment reports) as easy as a click and paste. If you'd like more information, contact Nancie Ravenel, who'd be happy to help you.

Lexicon Terms[edit | edit source]

List: Terms included in the resource

Potential Resources for Lexicon development[edit | edit source]

American Institute for Conservation Resources[edit | edit source]

AIC website - Definitions of Conservation Terminology

AIC Wiki

  • Book and Paper Group. Mold Paper Conservation Wiki
  • Photographic Materials Group. Photographic Materials Conservation Wiki: PMG Silver Mirroring: Terms list

Multilingual and translated glossaries[edit | edit source]

Silvana Bojanoski and Márcia Almada. 2021. Illustrated glossary of paper conservation: damages and treatments - English, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek. Brazil, Fino Traco Editora LTDA. DOI: 10.52884/eft-gloscon.002. Also available on Researchgate.

Glossary on Paper Conservation in Six Languages Published by the Goethe Institute, Hong Kong. Includes Chinese, English, German, Korean, Mongolian, and Japanese.

Multilingual Bookbinding and Conservation Dictionary Wiki dictionary created by Suzy Morgan and Peter Verheyen. Includes English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and Russian.

Multilingual Glossary for Art Librarians Published by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Section of Art Libraries. English with indexes in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Translation of Book Arts Terms, from English to French Published by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG).


Technical paper terms used in descriptions. Eliminate listing here if viewed as redundancies to CAMEO entries.

  • LaBarre, E. J. (1952, 1969 ed. 2) Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Papermaking: With Equivalents of the Technical Terms in French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish & Swedish; Publisher: Swets & Zeitlinger.
  • Neenah Paper Glossary of Terms

See also Global Conservation Forum thread about Spanish translations of terms

Other online resources[edit | edit source]

Terminology to characterize the conservation of tangible cultural heritage. (2008) ICOM-CC

The Conservator-Restorer: a Definition of the Profession (1984) ICOM-CC

Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (it does include terms like “lining” “inpaint” “cockling” “blister”)

Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online. Getty Research Institute (particularly terms in the Conditions and Effects and Processes and Techniques hierarchies)

CCI Notes 10/11 Condition Reporting: Paintings Part III: Glossary of Terms

Society for Historical Archeology Conservation FAQs and Facts Glossary

Painting Conservation Glossary of Terms, Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute

Damage Atlas for Photographic Materials. Kristel Van Kamp (2010). CeROArt

Online Photograph Conservation Thesaurus. Catarina Mateus (2008). Preprints Jornadas Imatge I Recerca, Girona, Spain

Préserv'Art - Interactive Database of Products and Tools used for the Conservation and Protection of Artifacts, Works of Art and Archival Documents

Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books - A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

A Glossary of Conservation Terms by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

Glossary - International Dunhuang Project

Conservation Online Lexical and Classification Resources

Conservation Terminology Survey (2005?) Institute of Conservation (ICON). That project is described here. It lists various online and print resources for terminology related to condition, conservation, and materials.

UNESCO's Safeguarding our Documentary Heritage - Glossary (English version)

UNESCO's Safeguarding our Documentary Heritage - Glossary (French version)

Painting Conservation Terminology by Hudson & Salah art conservation

Illustrated glossary on stone deterioration patterns(2008, 2010) ICOMOS-ISCS accessed 4 October 2012.

Harpring, Patricia. 2010. “Constructing a Vocabulary or Authority.” In Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies Terminology for Art, Architecture and Other Cultural Works. Online ed. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute. http://www.getty.edu/research/publications/electronic_publications/intro_controlled_vocab/constructing.html ISBN 978-1-60606-027-8 (accessed 23 October 2012)

Reynolds, Emily. 2012. “From AIP to Zettabyte: Comparing Digital Preservation Glossaries | The Signal: Digital Preservation”. Webpage. July 11. http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2012/07/from-aip-to-zettabyte-comparing-digital-preservation-glossaries/. (accessed 24 November 2013).

Verheyen, Peter, and Suzy Morgan, eds. 2012. The Multilingual Bookbinding Dictionary. http://www.bookbindingdictionary.com/. (accessed 26 October 2012).

Terms Hierarchy. Daguerreotype Research Portal, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (accessed 25 January 2015)

Published resources[edit | edit source]

Banik, Gerhard, Brückle, Irene. Paper and Water. A Guide for Conservators. Amsterdam ; New York : Butterworth-Heinemann, 2011, 544 p. ISBN 978-0-75066-831-6 (Glossary at end of book)

Carr, D.W. and Leonard, M., "Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms", Los Angeles/London: J. Paul Getty Museum/British Museum, 1992. ISBN 0892362138

Carter, John and Nicolas Barker. ABC for Book Collectors. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press; London: British Library, 2012.

Cato, Paisley S., Julia Golden, and Suzanne B McLauren, compilers. (2003) MuseumWise. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. ISBN 0963547631

Cohen, David, and Catherine Hess. 1993. Looking at European Ceramics: A Guide to Technical Terms. Getty Publications. ISBN 9780892362165

Demeroukas, Marie, editor. (1998) "Basic Condition Reporting: A Handbook". Third Edition, Revised & Expanded, Southeastern Registrars Association; Florida. ISBN 0962134805

Doherty, T. and Woollett, Anne T., "Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms, Revised Edition", Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009. ISBN 978-0892369720

Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Inkjet. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004.

Getty Looking at... series. If you're not familiar with the series, there are previews of a number of the volumes within Google Books

James, Carlo, et al. Old Master Prints and Drawings. A Guide to Preservation and Conservation (translated and edited by Marjorie B. Cohn) Amsterdam University Press (1997) ISBN 9053562435 (Terminology/definitions throughout the volume)

Lavédrine, Bertrand. Photographs of the Past. Process and Preservation. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute, 2009. (This is the English translation of a title published in France in 2007; glossary in English and French) ISBN 0892369574

McCabe, Constance ed. Coatings on Photographs. Materials, Techniques and Conservation. Washington D.C.: Photographic Materials Group; American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2005 (Several analytical techniques described in one chapter and a glossary of terms at the end) ISBN 0976050102

Shashoua, Yvonne. "Appendix 3: Terms Used to describe the degradation of plastics" in Conservation of Plastics: Materials Science, Degradation and Preservation Amsterdam ; New York : Butterworth-Heinemann,2008. pp. 271-275. ISBN 9780750664950

Xarrie, Mireia, "Glossary of Art Conservation (A-Z)". Barcelona: Baalam. Vol. 1 (February 2005), ISBN 978-84-89321-01-4; Vol.2 (January 2006), ISBN 978-84-89321-02-1; Vol. 3 (February 2006), ISBN 978-84-89321-03-8