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Abstract

A recent exchange of letters in the American Archivist highlights the conflicts between the two schools promoting preservation education in the archival world today. Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler speaks for the commonsense school, which has also been represented most ably by George Cunha and Robert Patterson. They are dedicated to 'action now', because, to quote Patterson, "the library and archives professions cannot afford to wait for the professional conservator to appear before taking up the battle against decay: we must organize to take action ourselves." Ritzenthaler was responding to Christine Young's contention that a highly trained, highly skilled conservator is the key person in the physical preservation of historical documents.

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