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, conducting collection condition surveys, integrated pest management plans, collection management plans, collection storage plans, exhibit lighting plans, emergency response, and developing 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.
Five laboratories are equipped to examine, analyze, and document materials and perform treatments that stabilize and extend the useful life span of an object. Information accumulated from an examination often contributes to the interpretation of the object. Current staff specializations include furniture, ceramics and leather, photographs, paper, textiles, metals, mechanical, armaments, organic objects, and ethnographic artifacts.
A conservation scientist assists conservators with instrumental analyses and material identification, expanding the ability to contribute to an interpretive program. Conservators 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. In addition, they offer assistance to national parks and other federal agencies in integrated pest management plans, environmental monitoring plans, collections management plans, collections move planning, emergency response training, gun conservation, and ethnographic conservation.
Museum Conservation Services, Harpers Ferry Center, National Park Services
P.O. Box 50
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Contact: Linda A. Blaser, Associate Manager