Core Documents

Commentaries to the Guidelines for Practice

Commentary 17 - Sampling and Testing

  1. Rationale
    • Some information about a cultural property can only be obtained by removing and analyzing a sample.
    • Consent is obtained to assure that the owner/custodian is aware of the need for and the impact of the sampling and testing on the cultural property.
    • A minimum sample is taken to minimize the impact of sampling and testing on the cultural property.
    • The removal is recorded to assure that the results of testing can be interpreted properly.
    • The sample is retained to allow future testing of samples, to replicate results, utilize new techniques, or to derive additional information.
  2. Minimum Accepted Practice
    • The conservation professional must use non-invasive analytical methods where possible.
    • The choice of testing techniques, the amount of sample required, and the expected value of the information gained, must be weighed against the effect of removal of the sample upon the cultural property.
    • The size of the sample taken must be only the minimum required for current testing purposes.


Approved by the AIC Board October 1998.