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Subject: Decision-making


From: Jan Paris <jparis>
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2004
    **** Moderator's comments: Please respond directly to the author
    and if of general interest post it here as well

Making decisions in special collections conservation

In late July, 2004 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

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

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,

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

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:67
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 28, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-67-026
Received on Wednesday, 21 April, 2004

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