Next to wood, leather is one of the most commonly used organic materials in historic objects. It is common to see biological growths or changes to leather in your collection because of the nature of the material, the processing techniques and the care and restoration of leather surfaces. Let's take a look at what you … Continue reading Mould on Leather
It is hard to believe that it has been 14 years since I started practicing conservation and it has been an amazing journey that has taken me to places I never dreamt of. I occasionally get asked about how I came into the field and advice on how to pursue conservation as a profession … Continue reading Personal Journey in Conservation
This week I attended the Environmental Institute for Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) annual conference in Wellington. This was my first time with this group and I was inspired to attend because of the formation of the new Heritage Special Interest Section. I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet environmental practitioners and … Continue reading Heritage and the Environment: EIANZ Annual Meeting
Conservators can have a variety of roles on an archaeological site. In some cases, I act as a registrar and a conservator, in others these are two separate roles and I am only employing conservation methods to stabilize the collection. However, there are some archaeological projects that don't include conservators at all. At what point … Continue reading When Does Conservation Begin?
Introduction Textiles are some of the most expressive forms of cultural heritage that exist in museums and family collections. They are commonly composed of organic materials of individual fibers that are woven together to form a fabric. Some textiles and textile-based artworks can also include inorganic components including metals or composites. The purpose of the … Continue reading Mounting Textile for Hanging
One of the most critical aspects to maintaining a large collection is to create an artifact inventory so that you can identify what types of objects are in the collection and other pertinent information (i.e.: donors, storage or display location, artist, etc.). More details about creating an inventory can be found online, but today's post … Continue reading Labeling Artifacts
In the United States, tintype images were very popular during the Civil War, as well as, into the early 20th century. There are three main factors of deterioration that affect tintypes: improper handling, corrosion from high humidity or exposure to moisture, and light damage so the overall goal is to keep it in a dry … Continue reading Preserving Tintype Images
I was recently asked to submit a treatment proposal for a large collection of archaeological materials and I needed to predict what treatments would be used. The caveat was that I was not able to see the collection because it had not been excavated yet. This situation is fairly common in archaeological conservation. You need … Continue reading Site Unseen!
On a recent tour to the North Carolina Museum of Art, we were able to meet with some of the “behind-the-scenes” staff including conservators and the exhibition designers. In North Carolina, we have a large amount of small museums with small staffs that have to fulfill numerous roles including exhibit design, but many times staff … Continue reading Tips for Museum Exhibitions
One of the most valuable courses that ECU offers is HIST5920 Techniques of Museum and Historic Site Development. The class includes readings and discussions in museum theory, as well as, several field trips to a variety of museums and organizations. The field trips are often the best environment to see how our theoretical discussions are … Continue reading Inside Tips from Museum Professionals