In the area of cultural property protection, conservation or preservation refers to all measures that serve to examine, document and preserve the authenticity of works that are important in terms of art and cultural history and that are worthy of protection, without undertaking irreversible interventions that damage the object or change it massively. In 2000 the guidelines for preventive conservation were laid down in the Vantaa document.
Conservation is a preventive measure to secure the property and protect it from destruction, be it through catastrophes, wars or climatic influences, and to avoid restoration. However, a professional restoration can also be necessary for the permanent preservation of an object.
In the museum and archiving area, the conservation measures for exhibited and stored objects primarily include ensuring and controlling a stable room climate with regard to temperature and humidity as well as reducing light and pollutant emissions.
In a broader sense, the digitization of cultural assets is also a conservation measure. It enables objects to be seen, examined and researched without being subject to physical stress from transport, exposure or use. At the same time, however, the digitization process itself must meet preservation requirements and must not lead to any damage to the objects.
Modern scanning systems for the digitization of valuable cultural objects must therefore have the appropriate preservative components. These include, among other things, an adjustable, gentle lighting system, wear-preventing contact surfaces, book cradles with book spine release and adjustable opening angle and special glass, controllable pressure processses as well as special supplements for careful handling.