Today I took a tour of the Northeast Document Conservation Center given by my Preservation Management Prof. Donia Conn.

The Center is located in Andover, MA and is one of a select number of such facilities in the US. If you have reference questions they have a 24/7- 365 days a year hot-line that can answer and address your preservation concerns.

On the tour I got to observe how nitrate negatives are copied to create digital images that are then adjusted to correct damage over time. The NEDCC also utilizes an x-ray scanner that scans large scale images of art work and allows the conservator to have the ability to adjust color levels of the black and white scan to investigate and better visualize any cracks or tears in the film or better understand the creation of the art work itself.

The Center has a large paper based conservation lab that corrects tears, water damage and red rot. We also got to see a scrapbook from a college archive that was being encapsulated page by page to preserve the contents and order of the scrapbook pages, while ensuring the item’s longevity as an archival object.

What continues to amaze me about preservation practice is how detail oriented the work is. This may seem obvious but the attention these staff members must give each piece is incredible. They become so heavily invested in documents that belong to other institutions.

I hope that I bring to my practice the same level of attention and fastidiousness that those working at the NEDCC bring to their work.

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