Finding a


CIPP's anniversary year

Finding a Conservator

CIPP has members in many technical specialties in all parts of the United States. You can find a conservator who is a Professional Associate or Fellow of our parent organization on line at the American Institute for Conservation. The AIC offers advice on finding a conservator who can best help you care for the objects in your care, whether they be a few family heirlooms or extensive museum collections. Members of CIPP and AIC subscribe to the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the AIC.

What Happens When You Bring an Object to a CIPP Conservator for Treatment

The conservator will first want to examine the object before suggesting a treatment. Prior to beginning a treatment, the conservator will provide for your review and approval a written examination report with a description of the proposed treatment, expected results, and estimated cost. The conservator should consult you during the treatment if any serious deviation from the agreed-upon proposal is needed.

The conservator will be willing to discuss the basis for all charges and will outline the fee structure for various services, including examination, documentation, treatment, and insurance of your property while it is in the conservator's possession. The conservator will schedule your work in a timely fashion, although there may be a waiting period before your work can be scheduled. Conservation treatments can be very time and labor intensive, so allow enough time in your plans for this painstaking work.

The conservator will provide a report when treatment is completed. Such reports may vary in length and form but should list materials and procedures used. The final report may, if appropriate, include photographic records documenting condition before and after treatment. Recommendations for continued care and maintenance may also be provided. Both written and photographic records should be unambiguous. All records should be retained for reference in case the object requires treatment in the future.

working in storage

working in the lab

working on site

What Happens When You Contract for a Conservation Survey

The conservator will work closely with you and your staff to design a survey to meet your needs. If you are planning to upgrade or build new storage space, schedule treatment of individual works, or create exhibitions or education programs, a professionally conducted condition survey can be a basic tool in planning and fund seeking.

The conservator will schedule a timely visit and discuss all fees and expenses for such a visit. The amount of time needed to conduct the survey will be determined in consultation with the client. A general facilites survey may take only a day or two, a complete object-by-object survey may take many days or even weeks.

The conservator will provide complete documentation of survey findings. A survey report should include not only the observations of the conservator, but also recommendations for proper storage, exhibition, treatment, and facility infrastructure to provide optimum care for the collection. An object-by-object survey should include treatment recommendations for individual objects and scheduling recommendations that incorporate the collection.