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Subject: Accreditation


From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Friday, July 23, 1999
My heart goes out to Mario Galea, and any other conservator/restorer
in the world in his position.

My earlier remarks about accreditation have received support through
the relation of his experience.

An individual's skill level is not important; it is only important
that an individual has attended a few weeks of classes per specialty
to become accredited.

Simple profanity alone is not adequate to express my opinion of this
attitude on the part of institutional employers; private employers
tend to ignore academic records and demand performance tests at the
bench.  But institutional employers carry a heavy weight.

Now, I'm an old union man.  I've seen what happens when unions and
management disagree.  And there is something very like that on this
listserv, with subtle ax handles.

I've known Walter Henry for many years, and hold him in high regard
for all that he has done to provide a venue for conservation
questions and answers on the internet.

My respect for Walter notwithstanding, I note that he does not
reveal web addresses of private firms (such as my own) but he
regularly reveals web addresses of institutions.

    **** Moderator's comments: The for profit/not for profit status
    of the poster's business/institution are not considered at all
    in this at all. URLs are included only when they provide
    information of direct relevance to the posting. For example, in
    a conference posting with a URL pointing to more info about the
    event, the URL is included; one that simply points to the
    institution's home page is not (and yes, I do check every URL
    that is included except those in sigs that do not suggest an
    obvious relevance to the posting). In your case, for example,
    were you posting an announcement about one of your workshops,
    publications, or videos, the relevant URL would indeed be
    included. Any URLs that are included in a DistList posting that
    do not in some way increase the information content of the
    message are there because of carelessness on my part, not

So, if you are representing an institution, your web address, which
produces part of your income, will be revealed.

If you are a private conservator, your web address will not be

It is Kristalnacht all over again.  The beaten wife who apologizes
to her husband; the beaten child who apologizes to the parent; the
race which apologizes to another race (German-Jew; Serb-Albanian;

If you chose to obey, you abjure responsibility.

If you take seriously your responsibility to make judgements at the
bench you adjure responsibility; you take seriously your
responsibility to the artifact.

There is no good solution to this problem, so long as employees
serve their employers.

When employees serve the artifacts under their care, there may be a

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Laboratory
Portland, OR
503-735-3942  (voice/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:10
                   Distributed: Monday, July 26, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-10-011
Received on Friday, 23 July, 1999

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