Last week I was fortunate to attend and present at the ICOM-CC WOAM 2016 Triennial Conference. ICOM-CC is the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation, and WOAM is a working group which specializes in Wet Organic Archaeological Materials. Yes, this exists! This week long conference is only held once every three years and attracts conservators, conservation scientists, and chemists from all over the globe. I presented on research being undertaken here at The Mariners’ Museum into the use of sodium nitrite as a corrosion inhibitor in treatment solutions for waterlogged wooden artifacts that also have iron components. Part of this research will be included in the October Civil War Lecture on treating composite artifacts and why they are tricky to conserve. The presentations given at the conference ranged in topic from the in-situ preservation of shipwrecks, to improved freeze-drying techniques, to the preservation of 7th century apples. It was a fascinating week and I returned to The Mariners’ Museum enlightened and inspired! This was a great opportunity to talk about the USS Monitor conservation project on an international stage.
This week we have been working away in the turret, deconcreting nutguards. More on that next week. Stay tuned!