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Inconvenient questions and the question of neutrality

Henderson, Jane ORCID: 2022. Inconvenient questions and the question of neutrality. Presented at: Icon BPG21 Conference: Mod Cons, Virtual, 4-7 October 2021. Published in: Murray, Pamela, Humenuck, Leah, Bennett, William and Moon-Scot, Lauren eds. Contemporary Issues in Book and Paper Conservation (Proceedings of Mod Cons BPG conference 2021). London UK: Archetype,

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This paper challenges concepts and approaches that may seem to be taken for granted in conservation. Access to collections is not always better and neither is keeping things for longer: there is nothing absolute in conservation decisions. Just as reversibility, minimal intervention and re-treatability are all valuable concepts, none of them are universally required. The main focus of this paper is on the concept of keeping things for longer and asks why this has become a subtle but ubiquitous virtue for conservation. By opening up our existing values for examination, we create space to ask: what values are not consistently underpinning our work? Conservators’ ethical codes have begun to include sustainability as a decision-making criteria but this must go beyond the selection and recycling of materials. How are social sustainability, social justice, equity and inclusion represented in conservation decisions? Are these issues central? How do we navigate a decision if ‘restitution’ and ‘keeping or caring’ appear to be in conflict?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: In Press
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Publisher: Archetype
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 January 2022
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:21

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