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Historical Perspectives on Preventive Conservation gathers together the most important texts on this critical topic, from antiquity to today. The sixth volume in the Getty's Readings in Conservation series, which gathers more than 65 texts that have been influential in the development of thinking about the conservation of cultural heritage, from antiquity to the present day.
Historical Perspectives on Preventive Conservation is divided into nine parts: Philosophies of Preventive Conservation, Keeping Things, Early Years of Conservation in Museums, Relative Humidity and Temperature, Light, Pests, Pollution, The Museum Environment and Risk Management, and Future Trends. Writings by such well-known figures as John Ruskin, and Rachel Carson are complemented by selections from diverse sources including early housekeeping books, 18th-century archivist manuals, and Victorian novels. Other seminal texts include John Evelyn's 17th-century tract on air pollution in London and the founding manifesto of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings by William Morris.
Sarah Staniforth is museums and collections director at the National Trust.