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CDS-Documentation is a relational database designed for full written and photographic documentation of conservation projects. CDS-D provides a logical framework and automation for recording object description, past interventions, condition, treatment proposals, and treatments. CDS-D is not intended for collection surveys.

Watch an interactive flash video introduction to CDS-D.

NEW - See what is new in version 3.2.2.

View a self-running PowerPoint presentation about CDS-Documentation here. (1.4mb)

Read a presentation about CDS-Documentation. (.PDF format). It was delivered to the AIC Objects Specialty Group by the program designer in Minneapolis in 2005, and posted on his website.


CDS-Documentation is a comprehensive solution
CDS-D generates conservation reports 
CDS-D is flexible, customizable, and automated
CDS-D has user-friendly help

  • CDS-Documentation is a comprehensive solution that...  (back to top)
    • provides a systematic approach for recording condition and intervention records
    • provides a direct relationship between condition issues and their treatment 
    • provides a short form for fast and simple documentation of minor treatments, yet can organize the most complex projects through its standard form.
    • offers an integrated digital image capability with ways to record image labels and full image cataloging. It can associate each image to one or more specific locations in the documentation.
    • provides appropriate places for all data recommended in the AIC Guidelines and Commentaries and prompts conformity with AIC documentation standards by helping to “organize the thinking of the conservator in planning a full course of treatment; [and] to clarify the goals of treatment and the sequence of steps necessary to reach them; [and] to help ensure that relevant logistical factors are considered (e.g., time, materials, cost..)” – from Commentary 26 on Treatment Plan, the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
  • CDS-D generates conservation reports that are systematic and organized  (back to top)
    •  CDS-D creates the following reports individually, or integrates them into a 1-click comprehensive conservation report covering all phases of a project
      • past intervention reports
      • condition reports
      • treatment proposals 
      • integrated analytical report forms following general conservation analytical documentation standards.
      • estimated or actual time and cost reports. Estimates for time and materials cost can be recorded for each subsection of the treatment. This data is optional on comprehensive reports.
      • print graphics reports with digital images, filenames, brief labels and full commentaries
      • final treatment reports with a conservation materials list filtered for current project 
      • preventive conservation recommendations
      • associated components inventory  
      • staff assignments, a report dividing tasks according to the person assigned to the work
    • Reports can be printed on paper for archival storage, and (using a PDF generator) electronically for searchable digital archives. 
  • Flexibility, customization, and automation  (back to top)
    • CDS-D can produce standardized reports for any size project and almost any class of artifact. It has unlimited multi-component capacity, allowing description, past intervention, condition, and treatment records for components either individually, or by category or group.
    • User-customizable to adapt the system to accommodate any lab specialty, including for example, object materials and conservation materials pick-lists
    • user-customizable data-entry automation includes pick-lists, standard treatment routines, conservation materials lists, frequently-used component lists, and data defaults.
    • quick (usually 2-3 click) navigation to any part of the documentation regardless of project size and complexity.
  • User-friendly help  (back to top)
    • Status-line prompts for every field
    • on-screen help
    • Internet-based help, including FAQ, and email support.
  • System Requirements
  • Download the free Demo version of CDS-Documentation, or download just the help document with lots of screen shots. Both are on the Download page.

For a close look with lots of screen shots, see the CDS-D Help System. (pdf) 
If you do not already have the free Adobe Reader for pdf files, you may download it here.