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Welcome to this online supplement and companion to the book...

Artifacts in Use
The Paradox of Restoration
and the Conservation of Organs

Using pipe organs as a case study, Artifacts in Use explores broad issues in caring for historic objects that continue in use. The book describes the vulnerability of historical evidence during conventional restoration, and how evidence can be preserved during restorative conservation and subsequent use. It examines an object’s value as a historical "document," and the diverse values we each hold as users, conservators, restorers, and caretakers of the material past. The restorative conservation approach depends on collaborations between restorers trained within a craft tradition and professional conservators, and can be applied to many types of complex, preservation-worthy objects.


John Watson is currently posting a blog detailing the his restorative conservation of a 1799 combination pipe organ and piano at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation which hosts the blog. See the concepts detailed in Artifacts in Use in practice. The links below open the postings.

2014-03-03 New Docublog: Getting organized for an organized piano
2014-03-20 A series of unlikely events
2014-04-09 An organ transplant, of sorts
2014-05-06 Staring down a paradox
2014-06-02 Another Organized Piano?
2014-06-22 A Conservation Pipeline
2014-07-15 The Pipe Treatment Begins
2014-08-07 Pipes are Straightened
2014-09-22 Dispatches from the Archives, Part 1: Where have you been all your life?
2014-10-10 Dispatches from the Archives, Part 2: We are Family
Newest Postings