From Wiki

Susan wrote:

It sounds like it would be a good idea to differentiate "preservation" and “conservation” a bit more clearly. I know that there are lots of areas of overlap between preservation and conservation and most people do both, but we are writing the definitions so we need to split some hairs.


  • Also called preventative conservation, collections care, or conservation administration (I don’t think this title works well with these definitions – AIC has not previously defined Preservation Administration)
  • Includes conservation, conservation science, preventative conservation, preservation education

>How about: "Can" include conservation, conservation science, preventative conservation, preservation education. I feel that while conservation always incorporates preservation, the reverse is not true and you can have preservation without any conservation (i.e. direct physical intervention/alteration of the item)--Gbieniosek (talk) 23:18, 3 February 2013 (CST)

  • Working to deter damage to objects rather than repair damage to objects
  • Working on a collection level rather than a single object

>Emily wrote: Working on a collection and/or site level rather than a single object (Site preservation is often different from site conservation)

  • Includes activities such as environmental and pest monitoring, disaster preparedness, writing policy about object use, research related to lighting systems
  • Includes broad, general knowledge of material production, deterioration, and ethics, etc. (see "Defining the Conservator", below) but does not require the level of detailed knowledge or hands-on skills of the conservator
  • Does not perform hands-on treatments, unless also a conservator
  • Works primarily in an office

>I don't think this needs to be included (see below) because it is too limiting (e.g. both IPM and collection management often happens in galleries or in storage) and doesn't really speak to what preservation is--Gbieniosek (talk) 23:18, 3 February 2013 (CST)


  • Part of preservation (must have knowledge of preservation)

> Maybe it would be better to define conservation and preservation as two separate things with overlapping goals? I think that while conservation is always done to preserve an item and preservation is a big part of conservation, preservation work does not always include conservation... but I may be in the minority--Gbieniosek (talk) 23:18, 3 February 2013 (CST)

  • Working in a hands-on way to repair damage to an individual object or deter damage to an individual object

>yes- I think that conservation generally includes direct, physical intervention resulting in alteration to the object--Gbieniosek (talk) 23:18, 3 February 2013 (CST)

  • May include restoration
  • Documenting all work so that others can understand the item and any intervention that has occured --Gbieniosek (talk) 23:18, 3 February 2013 (CST)
  • Includes activities such as planning surveys, working with individual or batches of objects to plan and perform individualized treatments, research related to light levels appropriate for a specific object
  • Includes knowledge specific to one specialty group (terminology for each part of a book or building, knowledge of historically used treatment methods, etc.) - See "Defining the Conservator" for additional competencies but does not require the managerial aspects of the preservation professional

>Emily wrote: (I don’t agree here—I feel this is limiting conservation and conservators. Many of the projects that I feel I have most effectively worked to conserve artifacts are the broader projects that did require management (Again this may be my particular focus where the number of objects coming off a site can drown you unless you are actively managing the collection and working with others (archaeologists, curators) to do so).

>My thoughts align with Emily's - you'll also find conservators working in a managerial capacity also with regard to historic interiors, and works of installation and variable art in addition to archeological materials.Nravenel (talk) 20:20, 15 April 2013 (CDT)

  • Typically works with one type of object or specialty group in their capacity as a conservator
  • Works primarily in a lab

>I'm uncomfortable including this- a huge amount of conservation work is not done in a "lab" (certainly not a chemical/science lab) or even a "studio." Archaeological site work and outdoor sculpture are two obvious exceptions, but conservation work also happens in many other non-optimal locations such as galleries and offices... and in the end I don't really think the location changes what conservation actually is (or isn't)--Gbieniosek (talk) 23:18, 3 February 2013 (CST)

>I do think there is a difference between a conservation administrator and a preservation administrator. A conservation administrator may manage the operations of a lab or studio but might not have oversight of building environments (which is what I associate with preservation administrators - though I understand that may not align with how the term is used within a library context).Nravenel (talk) 20:20, 15 April 2013 (CDT)

Preventive Conservation