Bibliographic Research and Conservation Documentation


Prepare the student to select and organize the relevant scientific information and document their research.

Development of theoretical and practical knowledge for the production of documentation for the preservation.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Joana Lia Antunes Ferreira, Rita Andreia Silva Pinto de Macedo


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Beerkens, Lydia, (et. al), The Artist Interview. For Conservation and Presentation of Contemporary Art Guidelines and Practice, Amesterdão, Japsam Books, 2012.

Avrami, Erica, et al, Values and Heritage Conservation: Research Report, Los Angeles, Getty Conservation Institute, 2000.

Ijsbrand Hummelen & Dionne Sillé (coord.), Modern Art: Who Cares?, Londres, Archetype publications, 2005

Macedo, Rita, Desafios da Arte Contemporânea à Conservação e Restauro. Documentar a Arte Portuguesa dos Anos 60/70, Tese de Doutoramento, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2008.

Muñoz Viñas, Salvador, Contemporary Theory of Conservation, Oxford, Elsevier, 2005.

Teaching method

The program of this course is presented in the form of lectures followed by its practical application, at classroom, which allows a better understanding of the contents by the students.

Evaluation method

The 2023-2024 evaluation consists of 50% for each part: A and B. The practical component is composed by an oral presentation (Part A -35%), and the elaboration and presentation of an interview script (Part B1 - 25%), and the discussion of two provided texts  (Part B2 - 10%). The theoretical component consists of a written test (30%) which also includes the part A (15%) and B (15%).

The final grade results from the average of Part A and B elements.

The oral presentation (Part A) consists on a critical comment of the article chosen by the student, including the selection methodology and rational. Each student will have 5 minutes for the presentation + 5 for the discussion.


Approval requires obtaining a minimum grade of 9.5 for each of the assessment components (practical and theoretical). To access the exam the student needs to have a positive mark on the practical component of the course.

Note that: in any evaluation moment, students must also take into consideration the provisions of nº3 of article 10º of FCT NOVA Evaluation Rules, When fraud or plagiarism is proven in any of the evaluation elements of a UC, students directly involved are outright disapproved at UC, (…). 

Subject matter

Part A – Joana Lia Ferreira

Research methods and documentation. Prepare the student to research scientific documentation, select and organize relevant information, and document their research. The production of documentation: contributions from exact and natural sciences and conservation and restoration.

 1st Session with Maria do Rosário Duarte (Library) – September 13th

General presentation of the course. There''s more in the library than you can imagine: tips for Master''s students. Sources and methods for bibliographic research in natural sciences and conservation. The importance of rigor and critical analysis. Introduction to research platforms accessible on b-on and others.

 2nd Session – September 20th

Exercise on selecting information from relevant databases, especially articles of interest for the topics covered in CRBC, Project, HTPA, or MEA.

 3rd Session – September 27th

Other free tools like the IUPAC Gold Book, general-purpose databases like IRUG, and others tailored to a research project. The example of Conservation and Restoration in information organization: protocols and entry and exit records; documenting the conservation status; the C&R logbook; different types of records, oral, written, and digital; report typologies (conservation/preservation status reports, intervention reports, transportation and exhibition reports, and checklists); graphical, photographic records, and other technologies.

 4th Session with Vanessa Otero – October 4th

How to organize acquired information. The example of Conservation Sciences: The laboratory notebook (safety sheets); summarized reports; summarizing an article/text; writing an article (most common typologies in natural sciences and conservation). In the practical class, students simulate writing a laboratory session that will be proposed to them in the areas of HTPA and MEA.

 5th Session – October 11th

Selecting information from databases and accredited websites. Examples of practical cases. Selection exercise based on specific case studies in the areas of CR and Project.

 6th Session – October 18

Evaluation of Part A: Oral presentation of the selected article: critical commentary, including the presentation of the methodology and the rationale for the selection.


 Part B - Rita Macedo

Conservation Philosophies. Notions of artistic intent, authenticity, and value. Development of theoretical and practical knowledge aimed at documentation production and analysis. Documentation as preservation. The importance of critical analysis when gathering and producing documentation from oral memory, written records, graphics, or photographs. The example of contemporary art (installation, media art, performance), where the artist is alive. Use of practical tools that allow students to assess existing documentation and produce new documentation. These tools include the production of interview scripts, interview methodologies, triangulation, and data validation, which can be used in conservation in general.

 1st Session - October 25th

Concepts of Conservation, Artistic Intent, Authenticity, and Value. Conservation in a broad and narrow sense. Discussion of the text by E. Avrami, et al., Values and Heritage Conservation. Getty Report.

 2nd Session - November 8th

The Example of Contemporary Art. Types of works and their challenges. Discussion of Renée van de Vall''s text: Painful Decisions: Philosophical Considerations on a Decision-making Model.

3rd Session - November 15th

Documentation Production. The interview script. From theoretical script to practical case. Learning to see and pre-see. Exercises based on works chosen by students. Practical class with peer review on the script''s structure and order.

 4th Session - November 22nd

From documentation gathering to documentation production. Preparing for the interview. Types of theoretical scripts. Best practices for structuring different types of scripts. The interview. Norms, procedures, constraints, and limitations. Technical and ethical aspects. Languages. Oral History, Triangulation, and data validation.

 5th Session - November 29th

Evaluation of Part B: Presentation and discussion of final scripts. Evaluation of documentation as a preservation and conservation strategy.

 6th Session - December 6th

Written Evaluation (test)

 7th Session - December 13th

Feedback on evaluation; analysis of errors and successes.