While those of us in the conservation department are working from home, we are finding comfort in our family heirlooms and treasures—many of which require our attention. Like so many around the country, we are finally taking the time to clean out our closets, sort through our attics, and look through our family albums. While we all turn to our family treasures for comfort during these trying times, the conservation department would like to share tips on ways to care for your personal collections.
Each week a different student from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation will address ways to care for the collections in your cupboards. Last week’s post focused on preventive conservation. This week’s post looks at recovering from water emergencies and was written by Maddie Cooper, a second-year Fellow in Preventive Conservation.
Water Emergencies and Salvage
A grandmother’s wedding dress in the closet, a photographic album in the attic, or a box of baseball cards in the basement, these are all family treasures likely to be stored in hidden corners of our homes. While these spaces are convenient for storage, they can also put collections at risk to damage caused by leaks, floods, or mold growth. Whether caused by a major event like a storm, a fire, or a slow drip in the basement, these damages may be disheartening. However, it is important to know that you are not alone! There are steps you can take and support you can seek to salvage your heirlooms after a water-related emergency.