By Danielle Tucker
What is conservation?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, “conservation” involves preserving, repairing, and preventing deterioration of archaeological, historical, and cultural sites and artifacts.
But how does one go about preserving repairing, and preventing deterioration on historical artifacts?
Aiming to give us a hands-on experience with current conservation efforts, Carolyn organized a class outing to the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha. While the Ford Conservation Center is a regional conservation facility, it is also a part of the Nebraska State Historical Society. Because of this partnership, the center provides its services to an array of clients ranging from private collectors to public museums. The center itself staffs four conservators and two technicians who work together to draft treatment plan proposals, execute said object treatments, and provide object storage and display recommendation..
One key thing I learned from our trip is that conservationists are not appraisers. Their job is not to attach a value to an object; instead, their job is to treat every object they are given as if it were priceless. Many items that come through the center are family heirlooms; therefore, they many not have a high monetary value, but the sentimental value is priceless.
Overall, one thing I have really come to love about our Care & Conservation course is the amount of time we get to dedicate to hands-on learning activities. We are always given interactive ways to engage with the material we are learning in class.
The International Quilt Study Center & Museum makes its academic home in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences.