Proposal: Conservation of Cultural Heritage

How narrow or broad should the Cultural Heritage StackExchange be? Right now I think it is too narrow and needs some broader appeal. If the group was on Conservation - with offshoots into cultural heritage, etc, then maybe it will be more broadly appealing.

I realize this encroaches into Earth Science and its environmental science component but it is currently too narrow for it to be sustainable if the group is only for expert cultural conservationists.


I suspect that you are right that the focus on Conservation of Cultural Heritage is too narrow. However, I do think the focus should be limited to the cultural heritage rather than conservation in its broadest sense.

Perhaps extending the focus to include other aspects of Cultural Heritage Management or Cultural Resource Management would be appropriate? This would make the group more appealing to all those working in the heritage industry, rather than just those involved in conservation.

  • Thanks Sempaiscuba for responding. I think some StackExchanges are more "public" facing than others. This Cultural Heritage Conservation one sounds more industry and professional focused and is not interested in public engagement - which is fine. I proposed 2 public facing questions which got downvoted. -What advice would you give to someone interested in working in art conservation? -I am a high school teacher and I have a student working on an archeology project. I am not sure whether it is a publishable? Any advice? I think bigger StackExchanges like History is more public facing. – Poidah Aug 23 at 2:21
  • HistorySE has a broader range of educated hobbyists to professionals that can handle the public and public interaction and ignorance compared to an industry group where it will be a big drain on time and effort. They would also be less interested in educating the public from scratch so the discussion needs to be quite high level for the group to sustain itself. – Poidah Aug 23 at 2:24
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    @Poidah All archaeological work should be published - otherwise it's just destroying the site without a record. Where it should be published depends on the nature of the site and the media available in your area. Local archaeological units or societies should be able to give better advice. – sempaiscuba Aug 23 at 2:26
  • Thanks sempaiscuba. History SE would be a great place to handle such public facing questions. Broader scope with people who are interested in public. I just don't think there would be enough conservators to generate 5-10 questions a day to sustain a group. I am slowly getting the feel of SE. Takes a long time if you are not a programmer. – Poidah Aug 23 at 2:32
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    @Poidah regarding your question I personally think that the question regarding the publishing could fit the purpose of the website but maybe is not one of the questions that best represents the aim of the community. The second question regarding advices, it's too subjective and would be generally closed in any SE site. – G M Aug 24 at 17:40

I understand your worries. The term "conservation" was meant to address not only to the physical conservation but also to all the practice related to the effective management of the Cultural Heritage assets. As stated in the subtitle:

Proposed Q&A site for conservators, scientists, art-historians, archaeologists and any professional figure linked to the conservation and management of Cultural Heritage.

If this is accepted as the definition I don't think actually is too narrow. If you look at the number of fields and professional figures that we are trying to involve we are including:

  • conservators
  • art historians
  • conservation scientists (of Cultural Heritage objects)
  • archaeologist
  • curators
  • museologist
  • architect and urban planner

That's already quite a variety of professional figures! There are already some questions closed as off-topic because people don't understand for instance that it's an archaeology question. Adding more fields would make moderation too complex. Earth Science and Environmental Science are indeed linked but they are not part of the same community. The idea is to link professional figures and passionate experts that work (directly or indirectly) on Cultural Heritage objects and their issues . Because working on Cultural Heritage objects implies a specific knowledge of the object and deontology. I agree that we could change the title to Conservation and management of Cultural Heritage. Even though I think it's a little too verbose.

  • If this group was the only one around, then yes. But each topic you mentioned up there have a very vibrant and engaged group ranging from the hobbyists to professor. Art history for example have the History SE and the Arts/Craft SE. Why would anyone want to jump across this specialised group where only specialists and territorial experts exist? There will be far more collaboration from the non-arts historians from the History SE that may help with the work. – Poidah Aug 26 at 2:05
  • I think art history is not represented by History SE, and also Arts/Crafts is not really for problems related to art history or conservation of cultural heritage. Everybody is welcome to join the group if he can contribute but we aim to have professional-grade answers. – G M Aug 27 at 14:35

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