The impetus for this book was the desire to systematically organize the extant literature on the conservation of cultural property made of wood, from its beginnings before the Christian Era to the year 2000. Various published reviews and monographs, including Holzkonservierung (Wood Conserva tion) published by the senior author in 1988, have appeared over the years, especially in English and in German. They have provided exemplary treat merit of individual areas or aspects of wood conservation, but a comprehen sive, up-to-date exposition of historic and current developments has been lacking. The diverse professional fields of the authors, as well as their insights into methods of conservation and restoration of wood artifacts in Europe, North America, and Asia provided a solid basis for the success of this under taking. One of the goals during the examination of the literature was that not only well-known conservators and scientists from countries that are leaders in wood conservation should be represented, but that less well-known, often not as readily accessible contributions should also be included. Only in this manner was it possible to draw a comprehensive picture of the national and international state of wood conservation. The Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts (AATA) of the Getty Institute were very helpful in our efforts to evaluate as many publications as possible.
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