Many museums and institutions have their own conservation departments, and larger institutions often have separate departments for different material specialisations. The Australian War Memorial has a number of conservation laboratories, housed at the Treloar Conservation Centre.
Conservation involves an interdisciplinary approach to the study and care of cultural property. Conservation activities include carrying out technical and scientific studies on objects, stabilizing the materials and structure of damaged objects, performing restoration work where damage to an object has made it structurally unsound or difficult to display, and establishing the environment in which artifacts are best preserved. At the Memorial, conservators care for large technology, small objects, textiles, photographic, paper and art collections. There are also staff working in the fields of conservation science and preventive conservation. An analytical chemistry laboratory provides additional support for research programs, which investigate the vast range of deteriorating materials found in objects in the collections as well as new ways of conserving them.
Caring for your mementoes
Conservators at the Memorial have developed the following set of leaflets, Caring for your mementoes, for the use of the general public:
- Salvage of water-damaged items
- Flooding - Response and Recovery
More advice on bushfire recovery can be found on the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials website.
Meet our Conservators
- Catherine Challenor: Textile Conservation - the Richmond Colour project
Catherine Challenor is one of the Memorial's Textile Conservation specialists. The project she is working on is the conservation of the Regimental Colour of the Richmond Company, Victorian Volunteer Rifle Corps.
Conservation Case Studies
- Before and after: stories from the paper lab
- A rose between two thorns
- A steed reborn - OV 10A Bronco
- Japanese Ha-Gō type 95 light tank conservation
- "G for George"
- Beaufort A9-557
- German Pith Helmet
- 49th Battalion Regimental Colours
- Keith "Nugget" Miller’s Cricket Cap
- Grenadier Guards Tunic
- Amiens Gun shelter