Istituto Centrale per il Restauro
Agenzia Nazionale per la Protezione Ambientale e i  servizi Tecnici

Scuola di specializzazione in Tutela e Valorizzazione dei Beni Storico-Artistici
AA. 2001/2002

Informatica applicata modulo II: l'informatizzazione (standards e personalizzazione) della documentazione grafica  
Giancarlo Buzzanca

Indice    Lezioni    Temi d'esame   Questionario  Questionario AIC Links


Survey on the Internet and conservation practice

Comunicazione presentata

29th AIC Annual Meeting
Dallas, Texas  May 30 ~ June 5, 2001

  •        Conservation DistList
                                Instance: 14:22

                                Saturday, October 14, 2000

                                Today's Subjects
                                ------- --------
                                Mass deacidification feasibility study
                                Photographic proofing paper (2 msgs)
                                Nicholson Baker article
                                Pest management (3 msgs)
                                Call for papers--Book and Paper Group
                                Publications on solvents
                                Courses at West Dean College
                                Fellowships at Winterthur
                                Fellowship at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
                                Position at NARA
                                Position at Philadelphia Museum of Art

                                Today's Queries
                                ------- -------
                                Survey on the Internet and conservation  practice
                                Labelling soap
                                Effect of acetic acid on polyester film
                                Natural history specimens
                                Avery labels
                                Conservation management plans

    Date: 2 Oct 2000
    From: Jean D. Portell
  • Subject: Survey on the Internet and conservation practice

      For a study that was announced August 15, 2000, on the Conservation DistLIst, the results of which will be presented at an AIC meeting, I am asking colleagues to respond to the following 7 questions:
  • 1.  When did you begin using the Internet to seek practical  information that could assist you in your hands-on  conservation work?
  • 2.  Have you obtained helpful practical information via the Internet? If so, please describe one example.
  • 3.  Have you contributed practical advice via the Internet (on the Conservation DistList or another list server, or in an e-mail directly to a colleague)? If so, please describe one example.
  • 4.  Have you ever found practical conservation advice that you received via the Internet to be confusing, misleading, or otherwise inadequate? If so, please describe one example.
  • 5.  In the future, how many times a year do you expect to go to the Internet for practical information, whether for tips that are informally shared among colleagues, or for published articles that are available to read online?
  • 6.  What kind of conservation do you practice, and in what  country?
  • 7.  What is your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail  address?

The goal of this study is to increase the efficiency of conservators's use of the Internet to find practical information. I will send a copy of the final paper to anyone who contributes to it by responding to the above questions and provides his or her name and mailing address. Conservators who wish to comment but are concerned about confidentiality should state which details of their responses (including their own names) may not be disclosed in the final paper.

Jean D. Portell
13 Garden Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201


Hi Jean
i'm a documentation specialist  enrolled in the main italian National institute for conservation (ICR is acronymus for Governamental Istitute for Conservation activities)
My web-related activity is really intense.  So intense ... being also web-master ... as you can see in the signature.

1) use of internet is starting in 1996  to improve my knoledge in the field of the documentation activities overseas and all over the world in the conservation institutes both governamental and private.

2) Yes, very help ful information to understand the application of standard in the CAD documentation. I'was author of  some articles on the needness of standard in digital documentation for conservation using a lot of bibliografy based on internet pages (A article is in english and is in the proceedings of the ART 99  seminar on non destructive test in heritage conservation.)

3) Yes.  Part of a work carried out with the Getty Conservation Institute Documentation Program  was  done using the e-mail as  medium for the assesment, and the planning phase. In other case a message posted via DistList.  In a case of a message posted via DistList  for a my student  the  messages were really useful. In this case I was only a catalyst and  onlooker but very pleased of the level of the answer.

4) The  confusion is related to the  sender and to the adequacy of the question. In a lot of cases i've found a growing of the common knowledge ant the discovery of unexpected aids.

5) More or less daily

6) I'm a documentation specialist expert in the customization of AutoCad menu and in the developing of standards. (if you want I can see bibliography and a short c.v.).  My country is Italia (Italy)

7)    (...)

Best regards

Giancarlo Buzzanca,
Thank you very much! Your response is interesting. Also, I am happy that you  seem enthusiastic about this little survey project.
Please clarify your answer to Item Number 4 (below).(...) . It may help if you explain with more details. In this question, I was trying to find out if there are any problems that several people are finding - and which I could then alert  everyone about. (Of course, in the presentation to AIC I would omit any details that might cause embarrasment to anyone.)
Meanwhile, thank you again for responding - all the way from Italy!

Jean Portell
Hi Jean
I'm  no religious about Internet. Of course I believe in the possibility to enhance the information using  all the "medium"  reducing the complessity. HTML is a sample of "low level language" and using the WEB we don't have necessity of "Priets" and "Popes"   of the Information Technology.  WEB is synonimous of a democratic sharing of knowledge. But there is no web whitout spider ... there is a interesting essay by Tomas Maldonado ..the italian title is  "Critic of the Informatic reason" . Did you have read it?
(...) ..
As you know a message, produced by somebody (the SENDER of the message, is reproduced at some other place. The receiver  of the message will be able to understand (except language  problems) the content. The  medium web is low cost and with a little level of delay.
The problem is not the web technology.
So the problem is related, for me, to the  personal skill to make messages understandable.
Using the same knowledge (language) it's possible  a clear professional communication. This is the our case (problems are conceptual).
So I think that WEB-related problems have a very little part in problems and difficulties. Using the WEB (e-mail included) the problem is the content. And content is mirror of the sender.
Poor man has poor content.
Hi Giancarlo,
(...) I just wish to be sure that I understand correctly what you say.
I like this wonderful way you explain your meaning: "So I think that WEB-related problems have a very little part in problems and  difficulties. Using the WEB (e-mail included) the problem is the content.
And content is mirror of the sender. Poor man has poor content."
True! But there's a problem on the Web. In English, we have a saying about  Internet users, because they can send e-mails (etc.) while appearing to be someone other than who they really are. The saying is something like this: "On the Internet, nobody knows if you are a dog." In other words, it is hard for the reader to know whether an expert has posted online something based on fact, or someone posing as an expert has posted something invented.  (This is  especially a problem for people who are looking for reliable information on a subject that they know little about. )
Do you agree that on the Web it is sometimes hard to distinguish between a  "poor man" (giving poor content) and a good man (giving reliable information)?
How would you suggest that conservators distinguish between valid information  found on the Web, and misleading false "information" found there? (Is there, perhaps, a different way of sorting out true and false information on the Web than in printed literature?)
Also, do you think conservators have a moral obligation to correct "poor  content" that is posted in listserves to their colleagues? And if so, what is the best way to make corrections so that future readers can find them?
No, I have not seen the essay by Tomas Maldonado (...) .


Hi Jean
again about Maldonado: I' don't know the english title of the book (...)

See:. !


aggiornato sabato, 08. giugno 2002