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Tales from the Tip Jar: Paying it Forward to Increase our Collective Knowledge

Compiled by Megan Emery and Fran Ritchie for the Objects Specialty Group (OSG)


In a world that seems ever changing, divisive, and frankly a little overwhelming, it can become all too easy to focus only on our own needs or those of our local communities. The conservation community is small, and yet sometimes it feels as if tensions from the larger community creep in and affect the ways in which we work together and share valuable information. We have our professional journals and publications full of important scholarly work. But on a day-to-day basis, many of us are just looking for small ways to make our labs and work lives a little easier. Conservators are incredibly creative individuals and the act of sharing simple tricks, tools, or techniques is one way we can enhance our community and strengthen our connections to each other.

The popular “Tips Session,” organized by OSG during AIC’s annual meeting, is a place where we can share useful information with one another that makes documentation, treatment, preventive care, and other aspects of conservation a little easier. With all the virtual programming available during the past two meetings, OSG has forgone the tips session, however we plan to bring this session back in 2022. What better way can we connect with our colleagues at large than to share some useful tips with you here!

Read the lead article >>

From the Board President

In 1961 Detroit, about half an hour from where I live now, five men got together to begin an interesting, important, and difficult task: write the first standards of practice for a professional conservation organization. Murray Pease, Henri Courtais, Dudley Easby, Rutherford Gettens, and Sheldon Keck were members of the American Group of the International Institute of Conservation (now AIC) and they labored over their assignment for two years. The resulting document seemed so useful that, once it was adopted and published as the “Murray Pease Report,” (The Murray Pease Report 1964) the original 5-man committee expanded in size, composition (notably including one woman in the group, Caroline Keck), and scope to tackle the equally thorny topic of professional relations. Thus was AIC’s first code of ethics created.

Published as a set in 1968, these papers were not only the first ethics and practice guides for AIC, they were also the first formal codes for any professional conservation organization. Sixty years later, many of their core principles are still prominent in AIC’s contemporary Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. These include respecting the material being conserved or stewarded, acting with honesty and integrity in professional relationships, working within the scope of one’s professional abilities, and accepting responsibility for one’s actions.

Read the letter from Suzanne Davis >>