Conservation goes to Texas

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Recently a few members of the conservation team (Laurie, Will, Paige, Molly, and our newest team member Emilie, a Paper Conservator!) were able to attend the American institute for Conservation (AIC) conference in Houston, Texas. We have written about attending conferences before, but for those of you that don’t know, this was a meeting of hundreds of conservators and museum management professionals getting together to share ideas, research and new techniques. Basically, a museum nerd’s dream.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Laurie was able to go on a special tour of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and learn about their storage facilities. The Museum of Natural Science also hosted an evening reception, so Emilie and Laurie also got the bonus of seeing the Museums’ amazing dinosaur and fossil collection.

A cool fossil Emilie liked

Paige acted as the Program Chair for the Wooden Artifacts Group lectures, and gained some fantastic new information to help conserve the many wooden artifacts in The Museums’ collection. (no pressure Paige)

From left to right: WAG Porgram Chairs Paige Schmidt, Genevieve Bieniosek, and speaker Dr. Hany Hanna

Will presented the research he has been conducting, involving a more efficient way to remove gaskets from between valves on USS Monitor. Will also presented a poster on the fabulous rig he manufactured for the treatment of the Yorktown Guns. He’s been very busy this year!

Will presenting a lecture on gasket removal.

Molly presented a poster on research she did at Johns Hopkins University (prior to joining TMMP) on the effects of gamma radiation treatment on paper, leather, prints and other materials commonly encountered in archives.

Emilie attended many interesting and informative talks and discussion groups which armed her with some of the newest, up-to-date research and conservation strategies for paper-based collections including pastels, lithographs, hand-colored maps/plans, and transparent papers. We’re all very excited to see the TMMP library get some conservation love.

We all had a fantastic time learning new techniques and research ideas, and are excited to implement them back home in the conservation lab. But first, maybe one more lap around the pool…

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