Volume 9, Number 3, Sept 1987, pp.9-10

Conservation Information Network


The Conservation Information Network is now fully operational and ready for use by the international cultural conservation community. The Network, developed by six contributing institutions, made its worldwide debut at the Eighth Triennial Meeting of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Committee for Conservation in Sydney, Australia.

For the first time conservators and institutions in 65 countries around the world will have online access to a wide variety of information relevant to the conservation and restoration of all types of cultural property, including sites, architecture, and museum objects. This material has never before been available in a single location or in a standard format.

The Network, funded by the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), is the product of more than two years of coordination among the contributing institutions. Major contributors to the Conservation Information Network are the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), the Conservation Analytical Laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution (CAL), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and The Getty Conservation Institute.

The Network currently features three online databases with information on pertinent technical literature, conservation materials, and a product/supplier directory. The system also incorporates an electronic mail system that allows colleagues to consult with each other, regardless of geographic location, within seconds. The Network is housed on a computer system operated by CHIN, which also provides technical support to the project.

As an international communication resource, the Network is designed to be comprehensive, easy to use, and affordable to all members of the profession. For those unable to access the information directly, the Network also provides information on disk or as printed material.

Through the bibliographic database, Network users now have access to over 100,000 citations from international conservation literature, including the two richest sources: all issues of Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts; and the abstracts of ICCROM's library, the largest existing library devoted exclusively to conservation.

A materials database contains over 1,000 records on the technical properties of products relevant to conservation practice, including adhesives, consolidants, coatings, and pesticides. Observations and practical assessments of materials used in conservation treatments are also included.

The product/supplier directory provides information on international manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of materials used in conservation. Contributions from users will help to keep these records current.

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