I – Glossary Terms

Incomplete / Missing parts / losses:

Minor, moderate or extensive? Detail what is missing? (missing leg, missing button, missing section of inlay, missing strand of beads) Any element or piece of the object or image that is loose or missing.

Indigenous or historic repairs:

repairs made during active life of object.

Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES):

is similar to atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) in that it usually requires a sample to be removed from an object, and it has similar analytical capabilities. It differs, however, in that the excitation source is an argon plasma, heated to around 10,000 degrees Celcius, rather than a flame, and it is the light emitted by a sample that is measured, rather than light which is absorbed. The main advantage of ICP-AES is its speed of operation – it can accurately measure 30 or 40 elements in a matter of minutes. https://www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/departments/conservation_and_science/research/scientific_techniques/icp-aes.aspx


this refers to chemically inactive material that has been used in the treatment of an object or the material that the object is stored or packed with.

Ingrained dirt:

dirt absorbed into the surface and not easily brushed off.

Inlays, overlays:


Application to the surface of a fill or area of loss. Other word – retouching.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

This is the overall term used in conservation for the management and prevention of pest infestation within the collection. This refers to monitoring for pests in the collection, treating infestations as well as setting up protocol to reduce the risk of pests coming into the building


when a physical treatment is carried out on an object such as a clean or fill.

Interventive conservation:

This refers to when physical treatment is carried out on an artefact such as re-touching or consolidation. This is opposed to preventive conservation (see below).