What are Preservation and Conservation Technologies?


Preservation refers to the protection of important objects, artifacts, and documents; conservation is the science of maintaining objects in as close to their original form as possible. As technology evolves, archivists and conservators have encountered a steady stream of new challenges in both of these tasks. Digital objects can be as delicate as ancient objects, requiring special care, and changing technologies puts these digital items at great risk. Cultural works that are time-based add a level of complexity in the quest for preservation, due to the added consideration of the artist's intent, or context, or movement. Understanding and preserving how media is intended to be experienced while maintaining the integrity of its cultural identity encompasses a number of a considerations such as conservation ethics, legal agreements, availability of mechanical and/or digital materials, and historical scholarship. While museums have long employed specialists in artifact preservation, today new professionals are needed who understand digital and time-based media, and can address preservation and conservation challenges not only from physical, but artistic, cultural, engineering, electronic, and other multi-disciplinary perspectives.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • With students increasingly studying at a distance, access to digital copies of artefacts would significantly improve the learning experience. Imagine a student being able to caress the curves f Michelangelo's David or turn over in their hands the Rosetta Stone. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The real object is preserved while students have unlimited access to a digital copy.- helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • preservation and curation of student and course digital artefacts created and collected during their studies as a future resource, with associated copyright and portability issues. Can students take copies of their course presentations, lecture videos, text extracts, copyrighted material validly used for educational purposes but losing such rights once a course end etc. and what processes should be in place to destroy or restrict future use of such materials, and is this wholly the students responsibility or will universities or academics be held culpable.
  • leaves on the tree of learning - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • Has the potential to make abstract concepts very real. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • There are various virtual museums. Virtual world museums I should imagine are an example of this. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
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