American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
Establishing and upholding professional standards
Promoting research and publications
Providing educational opportunities
Fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public
Incorporated as a nonprofit organization under article 501(c)(6) of the US tax code in 1972, its membership of over 3400 includes archaeological conservators who are active around the world.
AIC holds annual meetings in venues across the United States. General session themes range from the theoretical to the practical, while specialty group sessions focus on topics of particular interest to those practicing in fields ranging from architecture, books and paper, electronic media, paintings, photographic materials, textiles, and objects, including wooden artifacts and archaeological materials.
In addition to supporting the production and dissemination of a variety of online and print conservation publications, AIC publishes a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, which is available as a benefit of membership and on Conservation Online (http://cool.conservation-us.org/), on JSTOR (www.jstor.org), and, as of 2015, through Taylor & Francis (http://www.tandfonline.com/).
As the national body that represents archaeological conservators in the United States, the AIC provides professional standards and guidelines that directly pertain to the conservation and preservation of historical and archaeological resources. These include legal and ethical considerations for treating artifacts, professional conduct and respect toward various cultures and societies, educational and training guidelines, and guidelines for the examination and scientific investigation of artifacts which are applied to field excavations, in situ preservation, and conservation treatments used for archaeological materials. The AIC also encourages collaboration with allied professionals to ensure the best possible understanding and outcome in preserving our collective cultural heritage.
Within the AIC, the Archaeology Discussion Group (ADG) is a network of professional conservators who work with, or are interested in, the conservation of archaeological objects, structures, and sites. The ADG is a working group of AIC’s Objects Specialty Group. Their members work in many different areas including for museums and other cultural institutions and organizations, in private practice, for archaeological or historical sites, as well as for teaching in academic programs. Many ADG members are also affiliated with national and international archaeological, scientific, and cultural heritage organizations. These include the American Association of Museums, the International Council of Museums and the Committee for Conservation, the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Society for American Archaeology, the American Schools for Oriental Research, and the Materials Research Society, which help to further promote conservation, and specifically archaeological conservation, worldwide.
One of the central goals of the ADG is to facilitate communication and collaboration between AIC and professional archaeological organizations in the United States. The AIC and individual members promote interdisciplinary relations with various professional archaeological organizations, including the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society of Historical Archaeology, the Society for American Archaeology, and the American Schools for Oriental Research through the presentation of papers and posters at annual meetings, through organizing and moderating specific sessions and workshops dedicated to conservation, and through AIC-sponsored exhibit booths at these conferences.
The AIC also provides scholarships and grants to aid in the professional development of members through workshops, publications, and outreach efforts and provides grant funding for specific conservation projects. In addition to these opportunities, the organization promotes safe practices through resources provided by the Health and Safety Committee. Disaster response and recovery can also be provided to archaeological sites and collections that have experienced damage through natural or man-made disasters.
- Conservation Online. Available at http://cool.conservation-us.org/
- Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. 1962–current. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/yjac20. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- American Institute for Conservation Archaeological Conservation Brochure. 2012. Available at http://www.conservation-us.org/docs/default-source/resource-guides/aic-adg-brochure-2012-web. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- American Institute for Conservation Archaeological Fieldwork Checklist. 2011. Available at http://www.conservation-us.org/docs/default-source/resource-guides/adg-checklist. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works website. n.d. Available at http://www.conservation-us.org/. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Brady, C., M. Gleeson, M. Myers, C. Peachey, B. Seifert, H. Wellman, E. Williams, and L. Young. 2006. Conservation FAQ’s and facts. Available at https://sha.org/conservation-facts/. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Caring for your treasures. n.d. Available at http://www.conservation-us.org/about-conservation/caring-for-your-treasures. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Conservation training in the US. n.d. Available at http://www.conservation-us.org/jobs/become-a-conservator. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Conservation Wiki. n.d. Available at http://www.conservation-wiki.com/. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Find a conservator. n.d. Available at http:www.conservation-us.org/findaconservator. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Heritage Emergency Programs. n.d. Available at http://www.conservation-us.org/emergencies. Accessed 1 Sept 2017.
- Warda, J., ed. 2017. The AIC guide to digital photography and conservation documentation. 3rd ed. American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.Google Scholar