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Conservation Treatment

Conservation treatment of a museum object is the careful alteration of its chemical and/or physical characteristics in order to prolong its lifespan. The Alliance has compiled this set of conservation planning resources from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

Conserving Historical Foodstuffs in Museums

Museum magazine focuses on the conservation of foodstuffs and how to tell a compelling story about history through preserving and exhibiting food.

Other Resources

The following resources were compiled from organizations throughout the nonprofit and museum sector. AAM reviewed and approved each one based on the organization’s authority and expertise and the resource’s usefulness related to the topic. Clicking the links below will take you off the AAM website.

Conservation and Art Material Encyclopedia Online

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston maintains Conservation and Art Material Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO), a searchable encyclopedia with chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on more than 10,000 historic and contemporary materials used in the conservation, preservation, and production of artistic, architectural, and archaeological materials.

Conservation Treatment

The National Park Service’s (NPS) Museum Handbook (PDF) has a chapter on conservation treatment. The 24-page document discusses types of treatment, factors to consider when choosing treatment, and documentation. It includes a sample examination report, treatment proposal, and treatment report.

Conservation Treatment for Works of Art and Unbound Artifacts on Paper

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) offers a leaflet explaining conservation treatment options for works of art and unbound paper.

Conservation Treatment for Bound Materials of Value

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) offers a leaflet explaining conservation treatment options for bound materials of value.

Food as collection object

The Aukland Museum’s Megan Harvey, Cerys Davidson, And Coralie O’hara wrote this insightful blog post about one of the more challenging types of objects to deal with, food.

Painting Conservation Glossary of Terms

The Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education has a glossary of terms used in painting conservation.

Preventive Conservation Guidelines for Collections

These guidelines come from the Canadian Conservation Institute and cover a broad range of topics including caring for archaeological collections, ceramic and glass objects, vehicles and beyond.

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