CONSERVATION SURVEYS: ETHICAL ISSUES AND STANDARDS
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works is currently revising its Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This effort creates an opportunity to consider the inclusion of guidelines relating to conservation assessment surveys. This paper raises for consideration some of the issues bearing on ethical and practical concerns surrounding the provision of conservation assessment surveys. It is based on informal discussions with colleagues actively working as assessors and surveyors as well as on the author's experience as an assessor and an Institute of Museum Services (IMS) field reviewer.
Currently, the AIC Code of Ethics offers conservators little guidance relative to conducting conservation assessment surveys. The words “assessment” and “survey” do not appear in its text. This apparent oversight may be historically understood in light of the developing chronology of conservation assessment surveys.