The art conservation program is an interdisciplinary program that combines academic study and practical work with cultural property in the laboratory and in the museum, art gallery, archive or library. To this end, specially designed laboratories fitted with up to date equipment for a wide range of restoration and conservation activities are annexed to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. In addition, extensive use is made of the facilities available in the Art Centre, the Department of Art, Queen's University Archives, Stauffer Library Special Collections, and collaborating science and engineering departments.
Liaison is also maintained with other Departments in the Humanities, particularly Classics, English, History; with the Modern Language Departments, and with the programs in Canadian and in Medieval, Renaissance and Women's studies, so that graduate students may take additional courses in such fields if needed. In the Sciences, interdepartmental liaison is maintained particularly with Chemistry and Physics, which are of interest to the art conservation program.
The Art Library located in the Stauffer Library comprises some 60,000 items (including exhibition catalogues) on all aspects of art history and on art technology, restoration, conservation and exhibition, supplemented by microfiche and microfilm facilities. The Department holds some 200,000 photographs and 220,000 slides of architecture, painting and sculpture, art technology, restoration, and conservation. Extensive Canadian archival material on art and architecture is also available elsewhere in Stauffer Library and the University Archives.
The Agnes Etherington Art Centre, which has a close working relationship with the Department, offers outstanding collections in select areas of Western and non-Western art for examination and research. Part of the permanent collection is on display at all times; the rest, which is in storage, is available to graduate students by appointment. The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), which permits access to information about the holdings of public collections across the country, is also accessible to graduate students through the Art Centre.