We educate and train professional conservators who are well versed in the treatment, analysis, documentation, and preventive conservation of individual artifacts and entire collections. Our students act as voices for the inanimate objects we cherish in our institutions and collections. Their work ensures that irreplaceable resources at-risk are well managed to maximize their long-term benefit to society, guaranteeing their availability for interpretation, scholarship, and enrichment of present and future generations.
Conservation students are powerful public spokespersons for cultural heritage and its preservation. Our faculty and students are working in collaboration with collections and collection institutions nationally. Recent outreach activities include:
- The cataloging, assessment, and preservation of at-risk collections held in small local museums such as the Newark Historical Society.
- The preservation of photograph collections in ten historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and conducted in partnerships with the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, the HBCU Library alliance, and LYRASIS.
- Our faculty and students led Hurricane Katrina disaster recovery efforts over a two-year period on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Second-year objects majors in our Master’s-level program conserved objects from Beauvoir, the Mississippi home of Jefferson Davis. Second-year objects, furniture, and paintings majors have treated the metal face and movement from an 18th-century clock, a lap desk owned by Davis recovered in many pieces in the bayou, and a painting with gilded frame sliced when the 33-foot storm surge hit the front hall of the house.
- Our faculty has been deeply involved in the significant National Institute of Museum and Library Services Initiative – Connecting to Collections – both at the national and state level, providing consultation, invited lectureships, and workshops.