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‘Preserve’ and ‘care’ amongst top words used to describe conservation

A study into the relationship between conservators and the public sphere found that conservation is associated with the words ‘preserve’ and ‘care.'

The study, undertaken by Icon intern Anna Presland over the summer, looked at the apparent division between the public and the conservation profession. The aim of the survey was to highlight key differences between the three groups: those who knew nothing, little and a great amount of the conservation profession.

The survey asked respondents who were aware of the conservation profession, “what first words come to mind that you feel best describe heritage conservation?” The word cloud below summarises the responses with the word sizes corresponding to their frequency amongst the survey answers. ‘Preserve’ and ‘care’ come up top with ‘history,’ ‘old,’ ‘future’ and ‘heritage’ also appearing prominently. 


Respondents replied with phrases such as 

  • “protecting items for the future” 
  • “preventing further degradation of artefacts” 
  • “protecting something that is of cultural or historical importance” 
  • “restoration of old things”

We will be sharing further insights from the research in the coming weeks. In the meantime you can read the full report.

Icon is for everyone! We welcome everyone with a passion for cultural heritage. Help us celebrate the impact conservation can have, and the ways it helps us understand our past, present and future.


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