Skip to Content


About Paper Conservation at NEDCC


NEDCC's paper conservators are highly skilled and can treat a wide variety of objects. The Center specializes in rare, fragile, and oversize materials, and treatments range from single objects to large collections. Materials treated in the Paper Conservation Laboratory include:

  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Drawings
  • Prints
  • Pastels
  • Documents
  • Architectural drawings
  • Blueprints
  • Asian Art Works including scrolls, screens,
    and wood block prints
  • Parchment
  • Papyrus
  • Ephemera
  • Globes
  • Wallpaper
  • 3-dimensional objects with paper components

Paper conservation treatment proposals are designed in consultation with the client. The choice of treatment depends not only on the condition of the artifact, but also on other factors such as its future use, storage or display conditions, aesthetic or historic content, predicted outcome of the treatment, and the client's budget.

bowl-brush-glueCommon treatments for paper objects include: surface cleaning to reduce superficial dirt; removal of mold; elimination of self-adhesive tapes; separation from harmful mounts and laminations; consolidation of flaking or disintegrating media; aqueous treatment to reduce acidity, deterioration products, discoloration, and stains; alkalization to prevent future degradation; mending tears; filling areas of loss; and lining fragile  or fragmentary objects with Japanese paper.

Cosmetic treatments for works with aesthetic value may include: stain reduction, filling losses with matching paper, and inpainting (retouching) areas of image loss. These non-essential treatments are performed at the discretion of the client. Various rehousing options are available, including polyester film encapsulation and museum-quality mounting and matting.
NEDCC offers an array of custom conservation matting and framing services, including museum quality mounting and matting, sealed packages, sink mats, string mounting for parchment documents, new custom frames and shadowboxes, and fitting into existing client frames.  We will work with you to design a frame that will look attractive and ensure the long term preservation of your artwork or document.

Learn more about proper framing techniques:
"What's Behind Your Frame?"

Photographs are taken before and after treatment, and occasionally during. This treatment documentation is provided to the client on a compact disk along with a full written report. These records are the property of the client and should be guarded as a permanent record.

For information on obtaining a conservation treatment proposal

Conservation Services for Cultural Institutions
Conservation Services for Private and Family Collectors

For information on shipping

Packing and shipping instructions are available here


NEDCC offers three types of assessments, Preservation Needs Assessments, Collection-Level Assessments, and Item-by-Item Assessments. An assessment is often a first step in developing a preservation plan for your collection or object. The resulting report can provide the basis for a successful fundraising initiative.

For information on obtaining an assessment:

Assessments and Consultations
Working with NEDCC for a Preservation Needs Assessment
Working with NEDCC for a Collection Assessment


E-mail Michael Lee,
Director of Paper and Photograph Conservation
(978) 470-1010, ext. 228