As collection managers and registrars, we are charged with a wide array of responsibilities in administrating the balance between preservation and access for collections. Preventive conservation has grown expansively since the 1980s. With it came new technologies, new procedures, and new discussions about how staff should design and execute preservation procedures. And while many conservators are charged with the physical integrity of collections, most American programs did not start including preventive conservation training in their programs until the mid-1990s. The focus has been on treatment of specific materials, rather than the programs, risk assessment, planning, and management required of preventive conservation.
The Winterthur University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation is currently exploring developing a preventive conservation major. Wisely, they are looking to the potential colleagues of these preventive conservators to gauge what sorts of expertise are needed in the field. The following link takes you to a survey that will help them in their planning. The survey closed at 8pm EDT on Sunday, April 3, 2016.