Many built works pass down through time. How they are received by each generation is ultimately a function of what we know and feel about them and what ultimately becomes heritage. Conservation/preservation therefore has always been about transmission and reception. As the second-century grammarian Terentianus Maurus pronounced, Habent sua fata libelli—books always have their histories—and so it is with the physical places we inhabit. What survives, what is forgotten, and what is cared for or destroyed describe the lives buildings and places have over time. Such trajectories are dependent on many diverse factors; however, once consciously examined, all built heritage comes under consideration for its ability to communicate to us; to have relevance in ways consistent or new to its original authorship.
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Image: “The Art of Restoring,” Fun Vol 25. Despite the satirical warnings of nineteenth-century critics, documentation and recording remain the foundation for all conservation actions. Improved methods of data capture and manipulation have resulted in an information revolution for heritage professionals; however, the challenge remains as how to best apply and use the new technology for informed conservation decisions, June 27, 1877. (University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries; http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078627/00030/)