Conservation Links and Resources

There are a number of web based resources available for more information on both archaeological conservation and conservation in general. The primary website for museum conservation is Conservation On-Line. You will find various conservation topics, organizations, suppliers, disaster information etc all on the website. Additionally, many of the national organizations such as the American Institute for Conservation, the International Council for Museums and the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation are all linked to this page. Regional area conservation groups will have their own websites such as the Washington Conservation Guild and the Virginia Conservation Association.

Other web resources for conservation include:


A long list of conservation suppliers and organizations allied to conservation can be found on the Conservation On-Line website. Primary archival and conservation suppliers in the Middle Atlantic area include:

Conservation Resources International

8000-H Forbes Place
Springfield, Va 22151

Tel: (800) 634-6932, Fax: (703) 321-0629

Conservation Support Systems

924 West Pedregosa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Tel: (805) 682- 9843, Fax: (805) 682-2064

Consolidated Plastics

8181 Darrow Road
Twinsburg, OH 44087

Tel. (800) 362-1000, Fax. (216) 425-3333

Fisher Scientific

585 Alpha Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Tel: (800) 766-7000, Fax: (800) 926-1166

Gaylord Bros

PO Box 4901
Syracuse, NY 13221-4901

Tel: (800) 488-6160, Fax: (800) 272 -3412

Hollinger Corporation

P.O. Box 8360

Fredericksburg, VA 22404

Tel: (800) 634-0491

Light Impressions

PO Box 940
Rochester, NY 14603-0940

Tel: (800) 828-6216, Fax: (800) 828-5539

University Products

517 Main Street
PO Box 101
Holyoke, MA 01041-0101

Tel. (800) 628-1912, Fax (800) 532-9281

General Conservation Texts

  • Corzo, M. & Hodges, H., eds., (1987) In Situ Archaeological Conservation. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.

  • Cronyn, J. (1990) The Elements of Archaeological Conservation. London: Routledge.

  • Payton, R. (1992) Retrieval of Objects from Archaeological Sites. London: Archetype Books

  • Pearson, C., ed., (1987) Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.

  • Robinson, W. (1998) First Aid for Underwater Finds. London: Archetype Books.

  • Sease, C. (1994) A Conservation Manual for the Field Archaeologist. Los Angeles: UCLA Institute of Archaeology.

  • Singley, K. (1988) The Conservation of Archaeological Artifacts from Freshwater Environments. Michigan: Lake Michigan Maritime Museum.

  • Singley, K (1981) Caring for Artifacts After Excavation- Some Advice for Archaeologists in Historical Archaeology, Volume 15 (1): Society for Historical Archaeology: pp. 26-48.

  • Watkinson, D. & Neal, V. (1998) First Aid for Finds. London: Rescue/UKIC Archaeology Section.

Funding of Conservation Activities Such as Surveys and Treatment of Materials

Funding for conservation of archaeological materials is generally obtained by applying to granting agencies which support funding for museums and the conservation of objects. Grants for specific conservation activities fall into three primary categories: General conservation support for the surveying, re-housing, data collection of entire archaeological collections; treatment of specific objects or groups of objects; and lastly, education and publication of conservation related information. The American Institute for Conservation ( has information pertaining to funding available for conservation. AIC does not have funding to support conservation survey and treatment activities but they do have some funds available (particularly to members) for conservation training, public outreach and conservation workshops and lectures.

Many of the granting agencies that have funding for conservation are government institutions; however, there are several organizations that provide local support. The Institute for Museum and Library Services ( is one of the biggest providers of conservation funding. The Conservation Project Support program awards matching grants to help museums identify conservation needs and priorities and perform activities to ensure the safekeeping of their collections. The Conservation Assessment Program serves as an adjunct to the Conservation Project Support program. Funded by IMLS and administered by Heritage Preservation, the program provides eligible museums with an overall general conservation assessment. Applications are funded on a first-come, first-served basis. Application materials can be obtained by contacting Heritage Preservation or by visiting its website ( Each museum may receive only one Conservation Assessment Program grant. A museum that has received a grant for a general conservation survey through the Conservation Project Support program is not eligible for a Conservation Assessment Program grant. The IMLS also has grant funds to support education and public outreach pertaining to conservation at museums.

The American Association of Museums ( runs the Museum Assessment Program, which supplements the conservation assessment program mentioned above. The mission of the Museum Assessment Program is to guide and direct museums and museum professionals to an understanding of the importance of continual self-study and assessment, and advise them on how to implement professional museum practices in order to sustain themselves and more effectively serve the public. This ties directly into conservation activities within an organization or museum.

National Endowment for the Humanities ( provides grant funding for preservation access and research of collections. NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. There are many different kinds of NEH grants, and programs may change from year to year. To look at all of the different grants and see what might fit your institution best, visit their website for updates, application packages and further information. The current program most relevant to conservation is the NEH Preservation Assistance Grant program.

Heritage Preservation ( runs the conservation assessment program mentioned above and the Save America's Treasures grant program. These grants are available to both federal and non-federal museums and organizations. Save America's Treasures grants are available for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts and nationally significant historic structures and sites. Intellectual and cultural artifacts include artifacts, collections, documents, sculpture and works of art. Historic structures and sites include historic districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects.

In addition to the really large government granting agencies, conservation activities can be supported through State or local agencies. This information would need to be researched depending on the region or State you are located in. In Maryland, for instance, the Maryland Historical Trust ( offers assistance to archaeologists and museums within Maryland. Funds from the Maryland Historical Trust's Non-Capital Historic Preservation Grant Program are available to non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and local governments for certain types of terrestrial and underwater archeology. And, museum grants are offered to small and larger museum with activities pertaining to conservation.

Related Resources and Web Sites

For current grant application packages, deadlines and examples of previously funded projects visit the following websites for updated information