Conservation science is the interdisciplinary study of cultural heritage conservation through the use of scientific inquiry. General areas of research include the technology and structure of artistic and historic works and the materials and media from which they are made.
Conservation scientists use scientific methods and principles to support work in the fields of art conservation and architectural conservation. Conservation science work includes identifying the materials that make up a structure or piece of art including their chemical makeup, identifying and cataloging changes that cause deterioration and developing methods to mitigate deterioration of cultural heritage.
Some recent initiatives fostered by the United Kingdom government in this field are described as 'Heritage Science.' "Conservation Science" also refers to the science that informs natural resource conservation.
There are three broad categories of conservation science: Thorough examination and analysis, study of the causes of deterioration, and improving materials and techniques. Conservation science includes aspects of chemistry, physics and biology as well as engineering.
- "Defining the Conservator: Essential Competencies". American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
- Ward, Phillip (1986). The Nature of Conservation: A Race Against Time. Marina del Rey, CA: Getty Conservation Institute. ISBN 0-941103-00-5.
- AIC/NU Art Conservation Science
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- Canadian Conservation Institute
- Getty Conservation Institute
- Heritage Science Masters at UCL Centre for Sustainable Heritage
- Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro, Rome
- Italian Risk Map of the Cultural Heritage.
- National Archives and Records Administration Preservation Programs
- Conservation Science in Cultural Heritage, peer-reviewed open access journal, University of Bologna.
- Italian Association of Conservation Scientists
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