The Conservation Laboratory is dedicated to the care and repair of Athenæum holdings with inherent historic, artistic, or literary value. The laboratory was founded in 1963, making it one of the oldest conservation facilities in any library in the United States. For five decades, we have developed the capacity to address the complex technical challenges of preserving paper-based materials.
Athenæum conservators perform conservation treatments on rare books, maps, manuscripts, prints, architectural drawings, broadsides, and pamphlets dating back to the 16th century.
Conservation staff members survey collections for treatment, consult on storage and environmental issues, assist in mounting exhibitions, and coordinate conservation treatment for items required by researchers, for exhibition, or for loan to other institutions.
The Conservation Lab follows the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
If you are curious about how best to preserve your books, paper documents, manuscripts, photographs, or any other family heirlooms or collections, Chief Conservator Dawn Walus recommends the following online resources.