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This articles explores the differences and similarities between the roles of a conservator and a curator within a museum or historical society.

While they may have different priorities within the scope of collections, they both feel that the importance collections is their top consideration.

A curator’s primary focus for the collection is its relation to programming.

The conservator focuses on the preservation and stability of the collection.

The authors discuss different cases in which the care for an object and the use of the object conflict with one another.

And while the journey to a midpoint between public access to museum collections and their enduring preservation is long, it is an important and necessary one.