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Subject: Conservation nomenclature

Conservation nomenclature

From: Gary Frost <dryfrio>
Date: Saturday, April 29, 1995
There isn't a nickel's worth of difference between "conservation"
and "preservation" as presented in the draft. In the library field
these terms are more distinct.

Conservation refers to direct treatment of objects while
preservation includes this and all other activities related to
collection care. Preservation, is reflected in our terms
"preservation administrator" and "preservation librarian" and is an
administrative position with wide perspective of institutional
operations and goals. Preservation overarches conservation at least
in the sense that preservation administrators hire and fire

A good reason to establish some distinction between conservation and
preservation is that they are both words well known to the public.
My impression is that conservation is associated with care of
natural resources while preservation is associated with care of
material collections. The AIC could add confusion or clarity to
general usage.

Another good reason to distinguish these terms is for professional
use. I have frequently heard practitioners say that a conservator
starts "at the bench" but ends up as an "administrator". This
metamorphosis reflects a natural transition between the work of
conservation and preservation.

My feeling is that these basic terms should not be made into
official synonyms, or given definitions ambiguous enough that they
are used that way. Of course, I am talking about creating usage,
which is the ulterior motive in this kind of activity. Isn't it?

Gary Frost

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:87
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 3, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-87-004
Received on Saturday, 29 April, 1995

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