Thursday, May 5, 2016

Field Trip to Ford Conservation Center

Blogger's Note: This semester students taking Care and Conservation of Textiles—a course offered through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design—will share some of their experiences working with the International Quilt Study Center & Museum collection.

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.


  1. I have several quilts from WWII that are signed & dated. My family is not interested in them so I would like to donate them if there is any interest.
    If you know of any museums that may want these please let me know. Thank you, Sandra
    theprimroselane at yahoo dot com

  2. Just reading some of the blog articles and I am overwhelmed! I thought that my interest of twenty years and participation in a guild for three years was pretty in-depth. BOY! Was I mistaken!! Thank you for the research and history being shared here, the content is fascinating :)

  3. The Medallion Quilt is the winner! I can't wait to purchase the fabric and thread - thank you so much for the collaboration with Moda and Aurafil!