Spring 2007 Issue 55
Editorial Comment - Conservation Journal 55
V&A Conservation Journal to become an annual publication
Change from tradition is always difficult, but never more so than when longstanding practice has achieved success and continues to deliver it. This is the case of the Conservation Journal; established to highlight the activities and achievements of V&A Conservation in a timely way, it is a source of considerable pride and inspiration to the Department and the Museum and much admired by other institutions.
But it is the time for change. The creation of the Conservation website has provided a new vehicle through which we can disseminate our knowledge and expertise and make it available to the widest possible audience. Over the past four years we have made a concerted and concentrated effort to ensure a good web presence. The site continues to develop; in 2007 advice on care of materials will be included within the collections areas of the site and we will have an area referring to 'frequently asked questions'. We therefore have two forums to showcase the work of the Department, and it is opportune to consider how each can most effectively be used.
At a time when the Museum requires our professional expertise to deliver visitor-focussed activities, it is essential that we do not lose sight of the need to share and debate conservation practice with the conservation profession. Research and presentation of the results through conference papers and posters, refereed professional journals and heritage publications requires time and resources. Continuous professional development is essential for a forward-looking department and a dynamic staff. Time taken to deliver publications aimed at a more general audience, such as the Conservation Journal and the Website, restricts the contribution that we make to the wider profession. There is a need to redress this balance so that we continue to contribute to the wider professional knowledge pool.
After much soul searching and considerable discussion, the decision has been made to reduce the Conservation Journal to one edition per year. This single annual publication will continue to highlight the skills, expertise, versatility and innovation of the Department. Through brief articles each Section/Studio will have the opportunity to showcase some aspect of their work. It is anticipated that there will be a mixture of retrospective, current and ongoing practical projects together with articles on other key departmental activities, such as education and strategic development. Where appropriate these articles will link to more information-related subjects on the website, providing a more coherent and integrated approach to our knowledge and expertise. The website will become the forum for timely information, such as staff, intern and student details, which was formerly presented in the Conservation Journal. The printed version of the annual Conservation Journal will be in full colour and will continue to be mailed to museums, galleries and libraries throughout the world. The Journal will also be available electronically through our website.
All that is left for me to say, is to thank all the contributors to this last edition of the tri-yearly Journal. I look forward to writing the editorial for the annual 'V&A Conservation Journal' which will be published in spring 2008.