About the Conservation DistList
Since 1987, a steadily growing group of conservation people, including
bench conservators, curators, scientists, and administrators, have been
meeting on the Internet to share technical information, news,
rumour-control etc relating to the conservation of museum, library,
and archive information.
Because it happens that libraries, having been involved in computer
operations for several decades, joined the Net earlier than museums,
the library world has been better represented in the list than museum
people, but as the group grows, and more institutions and individuals
find their way to the Net, the scope of participation is broadening to
include all spheres of conservation.
Our numbers include more than
people from at least
countries, including conservators from several specialities,
scientists, curators, archivists, librarians, and academics from a
number of disciplines.
There are currently three initiatives:
- An online forum, known as the Cons
DistList. A moderated digest, this is issued as often as
participants send in material to be distributed, usually once or twice
a week. It is open to anyone who is professionally involved--and this
is interpreted liberally--with the conservation of cultural materials.
Students in library, archives, and museum studies, or conservation
science are also welcome. Note, however, that the moderator is the sole
arbiter for all matters concerning acceptence of postings or registration
of participants. Typical topics include queries and answers about
technical issues, attempts to clear up rumors, announcements of events
of interest to the participants, etc. It is relatively informal and
geared toward quick dissemination / discussion, rather than carefully
developed argument. Less formal than a newsletter, but a bit more so than
a bulletin board, the DistList has been in operation since 1987 (it is
the second oldest library/museum list on the Net). Back instances of the
DistList are are available via CoOL (see below). In order to participate
in the DistList, you must a) fill out a very short questionnaire so
that I can add your address to the ConsDir (see below) and b) send me
a message via email, so that I can be sure that your address works.
- A directory of email addresses for conservation professionals, known
as the ConsDir. It is updated regularly
and made available via CoOL (see below).
- Conservation OnLine (CoOL). This is a
collection of full-text databases covering a wide variety of
conservation and preservation issues. It uses World Wide Web
technology to provide quick access to information from anywhere on the
I hope you will join us in what has been a most enjoyable and fruitful
experiment. The value of the networks increase as the community of
To participate in the Conservation DistList, send a brief note
subscribe consdist YourFirstName YourLastName
and you will receive our questionnaire by return message