Object Conservation

Object Conservation

The NC Museum of History has more than 150,000 items in its collection. The museum's job is not to restore an item to how it was when it was made, but to conserve it, and slow the process of decay. We talk with the lead conservator to find how it is done, what science is used to do it, and how the museum sometimes must reject items that can't be preserved.

What's My Story: Object Conservator

Jennifer French has been the Object Conservator at the North Carolina Museum of History since 2010. Over her 13-year career, she has worked on two continents and with objects that span vast time scales. Before unfurling her tool kit in Raleigh, she worked to stabilize objects from the Bronze Age in Wiltshire England, to repairing feathers and reattaching beads on Native American objects for the Smithsonian, to securing the ephemeral messages and photos taped to the Last Column from the rubble of 9/11.