AIC Collection Care Network Charge

The founding members of the Collections Care Network (CCN) are excited to announce the network has been approved by the AIC Board of Directors. Now we are beginning the work to create a voice for collections care, preventive conservation, and all of its practitioners. On January 31, founding committee members will meet to begin planning how to encourage and implement the ideas voiced in the Charge prepared for the CCN by the AIC Board of Directors and included in full below. We want to add your ideas and concerns to that discussion. Please post comments here on the blog or contact Rebecca Fifield at , no later than January 30 with any ideas or issues you would like the committee members to consider at the Jan 31 meeting or in the coming months.

AIC Collection Care Network Charge


The AIC Collection Care Network (CCN) was created in recognition of “the critical importance of preventive conservation as the most effective means of promoting the long-term preservation of cultural property” (Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, #20) and to support the growing number of conservators and collections care professionals with strong preventive responsibilities and interests.  Its purpose is to:

  • Create awareness of preventive care
  • Identify and develop standards and best practices, training, and other projects to advance preventive care in institutions of all types and sizes, locally, nationally, and globally
  • Provide resources to support collection care and conservation professionals
  • Work with related groups to reach and support key collections care constituents

The Collection Care Network is a Division of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and is therefore bound by the Bylaws of the AIC and policies set by the AIC Board of Directors.  Any revisions to the CCN Charge require written approval by the AIC Board of Directors.


The initial officers of the CCN are chosen by the organizing committee, in staggered terms, and presented to the AIC Board of Directors for approval.  Thereafter, candidates for open positions are prepared by the CCN officers for approval by the AIC Board of Directors. All officers must be current members of AIC.  Officers include a chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, communications and outreach officer, editor, and chair emeritus.  Terms of office are three years with an option to serve a second term if other officers approve.   The Board liaison to the CCN is the Board Director for Committees & Task Forces; the staff liaison is the Membership Director.

Standing Charge

  • Create a network of collections and conservation professionals committed to the preventive care of collections. The network will support current AIC members and work to encourage non-member collections care professionals to become AIC members.
  • Advance the understanding that preventive care preserves our cultural heritage in a way that post-damage, interventive treatment cannot restore.
  • Advocate for professional recognition of all collections care professionals and support the development of the role they play in institutional preservation planning.
  • Encourage collections and conservation professionals to exchange preservation information, ideas, and research.
  • Provide preventive care programs and resources that will be of interest to the broad spectrum of constituents the CCN intends to serve.
  • Network with related collections and conservation organizations to better support shared goals.

17 thoughts on “AIC Collection Care Network Charge”

  1. Commendations to the founding group of the AIC Collections Care Network and members of the AIC Board and staff. This is an extremely possitive initiative that advances AIC’s outreach and networking with allied professionals in a formalized way. I look forward to seeing all the possitive outcomes of the initiative. Bravo.

    Katharine Untch
    Director of Conservation
    ARG Conservation Servcies

  2. Many thanks to the members of the Collections Care Network (CCN) for their hard work and to the AIC Board of Directors for recognizing and supporting the need for this network. I hope we can look forward to another update and perhaps some associated programming at the annual meeting this year!

  3. There will indeed be a program by the CCN at the upcoming AIC Annual Meeting! Please look for the Outreach to Allies session where founding members of the CCN will be presenting information on efforts to date and requesting feedback on future directions for the group.

  4. Great idea and an interesting new organizational model within AIC nicely fitted to collections care. I am most excited about the possibility of the CCN attracting registrars, collections managers, preparators, collections care specialists, conservation technicians, etc. to AIC for what they can contribute and what they can learn in the way of professional development opportunities. I am looking forwarding to contributing and learning myself.

  5. Fantastic development, I am really proud of our AIC for going in this direction. You’ve probably already thought of this as an obvious early step, but making contact with the Standing Professional Committees of the AAM would be very timely…especially RC-AAM and PACCIN. If I understand correctly, there’s been a recent brouhaha about AAM restructuring the way membership is paid…one fee to AAM and you have access to all the Standing Professional Groups, meaning those individual groups no longer have control of their money, how to spend it, distribution of local grants, the ability to seek sponsors or coordinate specialty conferences independently. Apparently, some members have become upset enough to form a new group: the Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists (ARCS). I’m not certain I have all the details right, but times of upheaval and change are also times folks are particularly open to doing things in a new way. I’m not attending this AIC, but Scott Carrlee will be, and here in Alaska we are very excited about this new initiative. If I WAS attending, I would be especially interested in a lecture or part of one that listed off WHO are potential allies in other organizations and what those specific missions are. My conservation education was weak on allied professional organizations, and most of AIC’s members cannot afford to go to any conferences besides a few conservation-only ones, so educating the membership (EPCN in particular) about who our allies are would be awesome. THANK YOU for your work to launch this! Ellen Carrlee, conservator, Alaska State Museum

  6. Congratulations! I look forward to getting involved in CCN.

    Last minute comments:

    1. As to the need for CCN as conveyed in its charge from AIC:

    As CCN comes into AIC as a Division, AIC members, Board and staff should encourage all those active in our CCN Division to do their best work, and to integrate with existing AIC resources and activities. CCN should work to and through AIC members and specialty groups, as much as or more than to external constituencies.

    Presumably CCN as a Division of AIC will make its resources accessible via an AIC online facility, thus becoming another resource from AIC!

    Adding CCN’s needs to AIC’s already heavy budgetary and funding-development burdens, may well strain AIC’s resources.

    2. AIC is already a very active nexus for collection care!

    Recent decades have brought a rather thorough transition of our profession’s orientation from prior general preoccupation with post-deterioration or post-damage treatment of individual items, to our present very broad activity in and attention to “the critical importance of preventive conservation as the most effective means of promoting the long-term preservation of cultural property”, attention to ongoing care of collections, per se. This change has long been and continues very clearly reflected in robust collection care activities within all AIC specialty groups.

    Just about all of us in AIC are actively engaged in collections care services and sharing for the benefit of “Collections care staff, Registrars, Packing and crating staff, Libraries and archives staff, Preservation architects and engineers, Historic house museum staff, Exhibition mountmakers, Preparators, Preventive conservation supply vendors, Exhibit designers, Archaeologists, Heritage preservation students, Conservation students,” to quote last September’s proposal from the CCN Organizing Committee.

    Meetings and publications of AIC and AIC’s specialty groups, and prospectively AIC’s wiki and other online resources, and in many case FAIC’s Find a Conservator system, are already collection care resources provided by AIC. I suggest CCN provide a special index for AIC collections care resources, perhaps via our wiki, which is already underway.

    The happy truth is that by nature AIC is already a collections care professional organization, in all but our name, and our name proclaims our conservation distinction. Let’s make Division CCN a real plus for AIC and beyond.

    3. CCN Division enters a world that is already well populated with active collection care organizations, some of them already well engaging with every part of CCN’s Purpose and Standing Charge.

    Close attention to collections care is already well on top in all local, national and international heritage conservation organizations, and many obvious and bountiful resources already exist for collection care interests and activities. E.g., the AAM’s very active Registrars’ Committee and its Packing Interest Group, and successors as AAM new policies may shake out, our Smithsonian Institution and Library of Congress, the Museum Documentation Assn, societies and councils of museums, libraries and archives, and so forth.

    Since the world now has CCN as another collection care nexus, please include in CCN online a lot of currently-maintained annotated linking, and make AIC’s CCN the best!

    4. CCN as a budgeted Division of AIC, will unavoidably compete for AIC resources with specialty groups and other AIC initiatives. Please take the lead in finding non-competing best-fit sources.

    5. There should always be full and open accounting for AIC resource allocations of all kinds.

    6. CCN has tremendous potential for diverting AIC away from service to our individual members and specialty groups, and toward more diffuse missions and constituencies. Please be a factor and resource to strengthen AIC as our heritage conservation professional association.

    CCN itself and the AIC Office and Board should maintain very current and full transparency regarding CCN’s operations and activities. There should be comparitive justification for all development and budget support to CCN. CCN as an AIC Division should report not only to the AIC Board or staff, but also to the AIC membership.


    As CCN comes into AIC as a Division, AIC members, Board and staff should encourage all those active in our CCN Division to do their best work, and to integrate with existing AIC resources and activities. CCN should work to and through AIC members and specialty groups, as much as or more than to external constituencies.


    ~ John

    John Scott Conservator of Art

  7. CCN name appears to encompass our entire field. Subsequent clarifications suggest that the group’s focus will be narrower, focusing on preventive care, more specifically on such topics as environmental monitoring and control, storage equipment and solutions, support, packing and transport of collections, framing, etc.

    Could I have some clarification please. Thanks,

    George Schwartz, Chair, CIPP

  8. Conversations with colleagues indicate, that I’m not alone who is puzzled by the new CCN network and it’s status. Some of the following questions were sort of answered already, but it would help to have the answers in one place.

    To be more precise,

    Is CCN a new specialty group? If not, what is it?

    How does it fit into the organizational chart of the AIC?  

    Is CCN a volunteer group or does it employ paid staff?

    Who determines the budgets? 

    Who sets the goals, who measures progress and who provides the oversight? 

    In CCN open to non-AIC members?

    Your responses will be of interest to many of us. Thanks,


  9. I’m looking forward to hearing/seeing more about this network at the upcoming AIC and would like to be part of or attend any informational sessions. I am a member of the ECPN and a soon to be textile conservation graduate.


    Material in Motion
    10th North American Textile Conservation Conference: New York, New York
    November 16th – 20th, 2015

    The tenth biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) will be held in dynamic New York City and will focus on the theme of “Material in Motion.” Topics include, but are not limited to, technical analyses and descriptions, scientific and historical research, conservation treatments, and other issues. For example:

     Materials that were designed to move, such as clothing, theater curtains, parade banners, furniture upholstery, puppets, tents, tapestries, carpets, etc. from all contexts, including ethnographic and archaeological case studies or examples;

     The Transportation of textiles and costumes, past and present; presentations of issues and considerations in moving on or off-site collections across the room or across the world, for conservation, storage, display or travelling exhibitions; including preventing unwanted movement through virtual exhibitions or the design of display and storage systems. Discussions of the implications in design and management of these projects and how these have influenced our conservation practices and vice versa are also welcome.

     Movement in fabric and fibers on a micro scale due to changes in humidity and the effects of gravity and vibrations on textiles while on display and in storage;

     Undesired movement on a macro scale, including issues with unwanted or unauthorized public handling while on display or velocity and movement caused by air currents;

     Unavoidable physical manipulation required during mounting for display, dressing mannequins and/or installation/de-installation;

     Migration of dyes, stains, adhesives, soiling, etc. and the removal of these materials from the object.

    Conservators, curators, conservation scientists, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, collection managers, designers, and others engaged with these topics are invited to submit proposals for presentations. Collaborations among any of the above professions or with others not listed are encouraged.

    Abstracts for papers and posters (300 words maximum), accompanied by a short biography (100 words maximum) of the author(s) may be submitted in English or Spanish. Abstracts should not have image attachments. Projects already presented and/or published will not be considered. Contact information should include: name, postal and email addresses, telephone numbers and fax.

    Please submit abstracts by September 1st, 2014 to

    Presentations will be 20 minutes long; there will be time for questions. All speakers will be required to submit the full publication-ready version of their paper in the language in which it will be presented (English or Spanish) by April 1st, 2015. The papers and posters will be published in CD format and distributed at the conference along with printed abstracts. An advance copy of each presentation submission will be required by September 15th, 2015 for purposes of simultaneous translation. Please email any questions to and visit our website for updates at:

    Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the NATCC board. Authors of selected papers and posters will be notified by December 15th, 2014. Authors are responsible for obtaining rights and permissions to publish photographs and/or graphics.

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