Professional Organizations for Architectural Conservators
By: Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández, Assoc. AIA
Materials Conservation Assistant, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT)
One of the most important aspects for anyone that is a member of an established discipline is engaging with the professional community. Getting involved with different groups and associations is vital for getting to know people, current trends in the field, and getting involved in professional development opportunities. As the Historic Preservation field keeps growing, there are several professional organizations in which Architectural Conservators can be parts of, such as the American Institute for Conservation and the Association for Preservation Technology. In this blog post, I am going to discuss some organizations within the professional Historic Preservation field that are relevant for seasoned or emerging Architectural Conservators.
- American Institute for Conservation (AIC) – The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) is the leading membership association for current and aspiring conservators and allied professionals who preserve cultural heritage. The organization aims to support conservation professionals in preserving cultural heritage by establishing and upholding professional standards, promoting research and publications, providing educational opportunities, and fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public. The AIC was incorporated in 1972 as an American offshoot of the American Group of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC). An Architectural Conservator can become a certified Professional Associate member or a Fellow member of the AIC. The Architecture Specialty Group is a group dedicated to discussing topics related to Architectural Conservation and host all professionals and allied professionals in the field. The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network from the AIC is dedicated to students and emerging conservators seeking professional development opportunities in the field. For more info, visit – https://www.culturalheritage.org/about-us/association
- Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) – The Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) is a multi-disciplinary, membership organization dedicated to promoting the best technology for protecting historic structures and their settings. Membership in APT provides exceptional opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas. APT members, a wide range of professionals, including Architectural Conservators, are directly involved in the application of methods and materials to maintain, conserve, and protect historic structures and sites for future use and appreciation. The APT offers members the opportunity to participate in publications, conferences, training courses, awards, student scholarships, regional chapters, and technical committees. For more info, visit https://www.apti.org/what-is-apt
- International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) – The IIC was founded in 1950 by a group of men and women who witnessed dramatic events during WWII. It is an independent international professional institute that brings together over 7,000 international conservation professionals. Today IIC provides its members access to a robust global network of distinguished Fellows, members, and institutions representing more than 70 countries. For more info, visit https://www.iiconservation.org/about
- International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) – ICOMOS is a global non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. ICOMOS provides its members with a network of interdisciplinary experts, including conservators. The organization contributes to improving the preservation of heritage, the standards, and the techniques for each type of cultural heritage property: buildings, historic cities, cultural landscapes, and archaeological sites. Every country has its national Chapter and there are over 20 International Technical Scientific Committees that supports the international organization For more info – visit the international organization at https://www.icomos.org/en or the US/ICOMOS at https://usicomos.org/.
Besides the common membership benefits, each organization provides access to their peer-reviewed journals and additional databases. As part of my research regarding Weathering steel and graffiti removal methods, these resources were really helpful.