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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: April ::
Making Decisions in Special Collections Conservation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0923  Thursday, 22 April 2004

From:           Daniel Traister <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 Apr 2004 11:34:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Making Decisions in Special Collections Conservation

PLEASE FORGIVE MUTLIPLE CROSS-POSTINGS.

THIS MESSAGE IS POSTED FOR SOMEONE NOT A SUBSCRIBER TO EXLIBRIS. PLEASE
REPLY *NOT* TO THE POSTER BUT TO 
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THE POSTER (DANIEL TRAISTER, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LIBRARY) HOPES
THAT THIS QUESTION *WILL* INTEREST SOME SUBSCRIBERS TO THIS LIST. HE
BELIEVES THAT IT CONCERNS MANY OF US.

        Making decisions in special collections conservation

In late July, I am convening a workshop, sponsored by the American
Institute for Conservation and with assistance from Daniel Traister (a
rare book curator at the University of Pennsylvania), entitled "Values
and Decision Making in Special Collections Conservation." The workshop,
directed at mid-career conservators who care for primary sources, will
explore a broad range of interpretive strategies employed by
contemporary scholars, and we will examine the impact that conservation
treatment may -- or may not-have on research.

In preparation for one very specific aspect of the workshop, I'm turning
to scholars, curatorial/archival staff, and others who work with primary
sources (excluding, in this context, sources born digital) for your
thoughts on one dimension of the complex issues that digitization of
primary sources has introduced. My questions are these:

    * * In your research (or that of your patrons), if high-resolution
        digital images of the artifact are available, what -- if anything
        -- makes it necessary to use a primary source in the original?

    * * Can you think of examples of research you (or your patrons) could
        *not* have conducted with digital images of the artifact?

We all know there will never be digital images for everything, but this
hypothetical question can help us better understand the needs of
scholars whose research depends upon some aspect of the physical
artifact itself.

Thank you very much for your help. Please reply directly to

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Jan Paris
Conservator for Special Collections
Wilson Library
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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