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​Caitlin Richeson (WUDPAC 2019) conserves Arctic explorer Matthew Henson’s mittens from the Explorer’s Club in New York City. Henson was the first African American explorer to reach the North Pole on an expedition in 1909 (Image by Evan Krape, University of Delaware).

For over thirty years, the Department of Art Conservation has been instrumental in the preservation of the cultural heritage of the United States. Our graduates have analyzed and conserved the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Star-Spangled Banner, the Treaty of Paris, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and works of art from the Old Masters to contemporary artists—from Rembrandt to Van Gogh and Wyeth. They have preserved Babe Ruth's baseball contract, the original R2D2 from the movie Star Wars, the world's first photograph, Elvis Presley's 81 gold records, the 1905 Wright Flyer III, George Washington's dentures, Franklin Roosevelt's braces, original manuscripts by James Joyce and Henry David Thoreau, and early animation cels from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Preservation of the architectural interiors of Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, and the White House has been led by program graduates.

Many have also worked at archeological sites from Delaware to Turkey, on the consolidation of Mayan murals in the jungles of Guatemala, and the preservation of American Indian relics in Arizona. Alumni have assisted FEMA with emergency response efforts following disasters such as hurricanes and floods and graduates also have been called upon to assist in international preservation efforts in Kobe, Japan, and most recently, in Iraq.

We welcome ideas for news articles and encourage our students and alumni to submit items and links by sending these to: or via Facebook.

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  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489