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 10087 people from at least 94 countries, including conservators from several specialities, scientists, curators, archivists, librarians, and academics from a number of disciplines.

There are currently three initiatives:

  1. 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.
  2. A directory of email addresses for conservation professionals, known as the ConsDir. It is updated regularly and made available via CoOL (see below).
  3. 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 Internet.

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 users grows.

To participate in the Conservation DistList, send a brief note

subscribe consdist YourFirstName YourLastName

to request@COOL.conservation-us.org and you will receive our questionnaire by return message

Walter Henry
Conservation OnLine