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Viewpoint: Standards in conservation [Interview]

Henderson, Jane ORCID:, den Leeuw, Milko and Spapens, Oliver 2019. Viewpoint: Standards in conservation [Interview]. Authentication in Art Newsletter

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There are many ways that people use the word standard in conversation, I might be tempted to use it broadly, for example using ‘standard’ to describe an agreed way of doing things or to describe uniformity. Within the sector, the terms standards and benchmarks are often used interchangeably to describe a system to measure how you are performing. In a more precise sense, a standard is not necessarily agreed by all, it can be imposed by a standard issuing authority. Ask any child taking a standardised exam, most of them don’t agree with that way of doing things! A standard may specify interoperability rather than uniformity: so that distinct elements work together. The size of your mattress and a fitted sheet is an important standardisation for life. The CEN define a standard as ‘a technical document designed to be used as a rule, guideline or definition’. They claim it as a ‘consensus built, repeatable way of doing things’. I think the idea of standards is one of those ontological uncertainties, people don’t realise that they have different conceptions when they use the same word. Where precision matters it may be useful to frame any discussion on standards with an exploration of their meaning and purpose which may usefully expose distinctions and prevent future confusion.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: conservation, art, standards, de-facto, benchmarks
Publisher: Authentication in Art
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 February 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 June 2019
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 22:01

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