Washington, D.C.—The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) has launched a new wiki website based on a digital version of the conservation catalog literature. The site, www.conservation-wiki.com, was made possible by a generous grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).
In 2008, FAIC was awarded $23,000 from the NCPTT, part of the National Park Service, to convert the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Conservation Catalogs to a wiki (online collaborative knowledge base) format. The AIC Conservation Catalogs are reference manuals that include descriptions of materials and techniques used to preserve and treat works of art and historic artifacts.
There are four catalogs in print produced on a volunteer basis by AIC specialty groups: the book and paper catalog, the paintings catalog, the photographic materials catalog, and the textiles catalog. Together they comprise over a thousand pages of information that is crucial for the field of conservation.
The print catalogs have now been converted into digital format on the wiki. The site is based on the open source MediaWiki platform, which powers Wikipedia.org.
The wiki version of the catalogs will allow editors to work collaboratively and efficiently to update and augment the catalogs. Also, it will provide much broader access to these resources, ensuring that innovative methods and materials are documented and widely disseminated to practicing conservators and conservation scientists. Additionally, other visitors to the site can register and post relevant comments for the editors.