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National Park Service, Division of Conservation
The conservation laboratories at Harpers Ferry Center (HFC) are the largest in the National Park Service (NPS). Preservation and conservation of the important cultural resources of the NPS require expert and highly skilled specialists. At HFC, conservators work to preserve and restore objects of social and cultural significance which are of diverse materials ranging from fine and decorative art objects to natural history specimens.
The HFC conservators provide professional conservation services that ensure the long-term preservation of museum objects in national park collections. Work includes treatment of objects for exhibition and long term storage, conduct collection condition surveys, and develop preventive care training. Exhibits conservation is a specialization of our staff. Work also includes research and analysis of artifact materials and topics related to NPS collections for improved preservation and interpretation.
Six laboratories are equipped to examine, analyze, and document materials and perform treatments that stabilize and extend the life of an object. Information accumulated from an examination often contributes to the interpretation of the object. Current staff specializations include furniture, ceramics and glass, paper, textiles, metals, and ethnographic objects.
A conservation scientist assists conservators with instrumental analyses and material identification, expanding the ability to contribute to an interpretive program. They stabilize objects for display and make recommendations about the exhibit environment.
The staff is available to advise parks about any aspect of object preservation and care. They travel to survey collections, develop preventive care strategies, and provide training on the curatorial care of collections. They examine and treat objects in park collections and advise parks on obtaining conservation assistance.
While HFC conservators work only on NPS collections, theirs and other preservation specialists expertise is available in through various NPS websites including:
National Park Service
Division of Conservation
Harpers Ferry Center
P.O. Box 50
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Paper, Textiles, Objects/Ethnographic, Wooden Artifacts, Analytical
Conservation at the Harper?s Ferry Center, National Park Service, Division of Conservation