Curator or Conservator: Who Decides on What Treatment?

CATHY HENDERSON

Abstract

How do curators of special collections material feel about the introduction of modern materials into early books in the course of conservation treatment; about the disruption of the text block or the removal of attachments, pins or clips from manuscripts prior to treatment; about the potential alteration or loss of evidentiary material as a result of treatment? Such questions, raised by Don Etherington (Head of Conservation at the HRHRC at the University of Texas) at the 1984 RBMS Preconference, dramatically highlighted an absence of curatorial opinion about routine conservation treatment decisions. Who, the curator or the conservator, should have the . . .

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