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Conservation OnLine

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Conservation OnLine (CoOL)
Preservation is inherently an information-intensive praxis. When we approach the treatment of, say, an early printed book with its complex of materials and structures, the rehousing of a photographic print, the digital imaging of a brittle map, the reformatting of a sound recording, or the design of a storage or exhibition environment for collections of heterogeneous materials, we rely inevitably upon a foundation of technical knowledge drawn from a diverse body of literature. Both in order to support its own preservation program, by gathering together information needed by our own staff and in order to share valuable resources with our colleagues in the conservation field and allied professions, the Preservation Department provides some seminal information dissemination resources, which are widely used and highly valued by professionals in the international library, museum, and archives communities.

CoOL Conservation OnLine (CoOL), located at, is a full text library of conservation information, covering a wide spectrum of topics of interest to those involved with the conservation of library, archives, and museum materials. It also serves as the online home for a family of regional, national, and international preservation and conservation organizations as well as independent conservation information initiatives. Holdings include electronic serials, monographs, technical reports, the archives of several mailing list forums, and a directory of conservation professionals. Of special interest is "Albumen Photographs: History, Science, and Preservation," which can be considered a small-scale Knowledge Environment and which is envisioned as the first of several such resources in the area of photographic history and conservation.

Background information can be found in About CoOL: Conservation OnLine -- Nuts, Bolts, Hooks, Lines, and Sinkers and Getting Caught Up: Information Technology and Conservation.

ConsDist Distinct from CoOL, but its precursor, The Conservation DistList is an online forum dealing with the conservation of museum, library, and archive information. Established in 1987, it is the second oldest library list on the Internet (and the oldest dealing with museums and archives).

Last modified: August 13, 2007
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