What is Conservation?

Conservation is a holistic approach to the long-term preservation of objects of cultural heritage. Conservation may involve:

  • Examination
  • Documentation
  • Preventive conservation measures
  • Treatment

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) is the professional organization for conservators. At all times, conservators are guided by the principles set forth in the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.

Conservation at the State Archives of North Carolina


Cindy Bradley, Collections Management Branch Head

Lucy Dunphy Barsness, Archives Conservator


How To Find a Conservator

The State Archives does not take private work, but there are many conservators in private practice and regional conservation centers that do. 

The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) provides a “Find a Professional” directory resource of conservators who take on private work. Many in private practice will accept long-distance work.

In addition, there are several regional conservation centers in the Eastern half of the United States. This listing does not indicate endorsement by the State Archives of North Carolina.

Resources for care, handling, and storage of materials:


The State Historical Records Advisory Board in collaboration with the State Archives has produced a series of tutorials that provide basic information about the care and handling of family papers. Conservation related information is available in: