Preserving the Past
Museums and other cultural institutions exhibit collections that help us all to enjoy the history and heritage of our communities, our nation, and our world. Yet, nature takes its toll on our keepsakes and works of art as they are subject to the ravages of light, temperature, humidity, insects, and other agents. Scientific conservation involves understanding the agents of deterioration as well as the proper treatments to preserve objects for exhibit, research, and perpetuity.
The Department of Anthropology at CSU, Chico, is one of the few university programs that offer scientific conservation as part of its course offerings. The course ANTH 465, "Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Resources," trains students in the use of chemicals and scientific laboratory procedures for the stabilization and treatment of objects.
In addition to being a course offering through the department, the conservation course also serves as an integral part of the Museum Studies Program, Certificate in Museum Studies, and Certificate in Cultural Resources Management, for anthropology majors as well as for students from other departments such as history, art, and biological sciences who envision careers in museum work, public and private educational institutions, and generally any work involving cultural heritage management. The laboratory also serves as a research facility for students working on graduate theses topics, and if students indicate a strong interest in conservation as a career option, they will be encouraged to seek additional training in any of the graduate training programs offering a specialization in conservation studies.
Need Artifacts Conserved?
The Conservation Laboratory is available for contract work from government and private agencies dealing with the preservation of cultural heritage. The laboratory treats objects from terrestrial and underwater sites, as well as archaeological and ethnographic objects from museum and university collections. The lab is structured to treat objects of iron, copper, brass, or pewter, as well as wood, leather, glass, and ceramics.
For more information, contact:
Georgia Fox, PhD
Butte Hall 313
Chico, CA 95929-0400
Students working on projects in the conservation lab