Hello there Mariners! I thought it was about time I introduced myself on the blog. My name is Paige Schmidt, and I am the Assistant Objects Conservator for the museum’s general collection. While I work in the Batten Conservation Complex alongside the archaeological conservators who dedicate their time to conserving the U.S.S. Monitor, I myself do not work on the Monitor. My job is to conserve and help care for the 18,000 three dimensional artifacts within our impressive collection!
While hands-on treatment of artifacts is a regular part of a conservator’s job, conservation encompasses a whole lot more than just treatment. In addition to assisting with the preventive care of the collection (i.e. avoiding the need for treatment as much as possible by regulating the environment in which artifacts exist), we can also provide insights into the history of an object, help objects tell their stories, and sometimes literally ‘unlock’ their secrets.