What is conservation anyway?

Conservation has always been a buzz word that is used in historical terms, ecological terms and sometimes used by people as individuals when they are talking about particular items or even if they are talking about themselves.

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There are two main forms of conservation in terms of artefacts rather than wildlife conservation which is a whole different ball game. These are preventive conservation and intrusive conservation. Although only two forms of conservation are mentioned, it should be noted that the conservation methods for various types of artefacts will be different. Lets take a look at the most popular form of conservation found in museums across the globe.

Preventive Conservation was first mentioned in 1926 at length in a scientific journal where they said

“Specimens should be kept inside cases; specimens left on the tops of cases are subject to injury from dust, insects and other agents. Extreme care should be exercised in handling specimens. Every effort should be made to keep pests out of the museum offices and laboratories.” However, despite this very early reference, it wasn’t until the mid-1970s that preventive conservation became a working concept.

Therefore meaning that it is a process, which aims to remove or decrease the negative effects on artefacts  and place them in conditions which will compliment their construction materials, age and allow for the maximum life of each artefact. The methods of conservation, which are used, are reversible. For example, using incandescent light bulbs in display cabinets, or heating and cooling systems. These methods can be put into place and removed again without causing any direct impact on the artefacts.

However, Preventive conservation is risk-laden, as the prevention method may result in greater harm to the object, than the problem being addressed. Much like people wanted to preserve their looks and slow down the aging process. The risks here are that individuals no not seek the necessary advise. You should always visit a professional if you are considering any treatment such as dermal fillers and if you are searching for Belfast Dermal Fillers you should definitely take a look at https://www.glamskinclinic.com/dermal-fillers

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Anyway back to the artefacts. Preventive conservation includes:

  • Control of climatic conditions including temperature, light and relative humidity.
  • A gaseous and particulate pollution-free environment.
  • Artefact sympathetic storage.
  • Correct and safe materials handling.

We appear to be a nation of trying to preserve items whether that is collectables, items of historic significance or preserving ourselves in ways such as dieting, keeping ourselves fit or looking after our appearance.

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