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Conservation Services for Private and Family Collections

Private and Family Collections

How to Work with NEDCC to Obtain a Treatment Proposal

In order to obtain a conservation treatment proposal, please bring or send your object to NEDCC so that it can be examined by a professional conservator in NEDCC’s conservation laboratory. Please be prepared to leave your object with us. A written proposal and cost estimate is typically sent within two to three weeks. Proposals cannot be developed without an examination.

Examination Fee and Minimum Charge

We charge $200 to provide a proposal for one object or for a small group of similar objects. For multiple or diverse objects, a higher fee — determined before examination begins — may be charged. Minimum charge for conservation treatment is $1,000.

Appraisal and Authentication

NEDCC does not authenticate, appraise, date, or attribute historic and artistic works. If you wish to consider the market value of your object when deciding to invest in its conservation, please consult a professional appraiser.  To find an appraiser, please visit the websites of either the Appraisers Association of America, the American Society of Appraisers, or the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America.

Transporting Objects to NEDCC

Hand-carrying your object to NEDCC is preferable as it allows you to discuss your object with a conservator. However, shipping services are available. Please see information about Packing and Shipping.  Curbside Service is now available for dropping off or picking up item.  See the Curbside Service Procedures here.  NEDCC offers courier services on a negotiated basis for clients in the northeast corridor of the US.

Treatment Proposals

A written step-by-step treatment proposal and cost estimate is provided for each object or, in some cases, each group of similar objects. The treatment that we propose is intended to stabilize and preserve your object.

Recommended Treatment

A treatment proposal will include a description of your object and a recommended treatment. The proposed treatment offers what NEDCC considers the best approach for treating your object, and all the treatment steps are necessary for its care.

Alternative Treatment and Options

Occasionally an option or alternative treatment is offered in a proposal. Optional steps are listed separately and carry an additional cost.  Examples are stain reduction and retouching, which are not necessary for the preservation of the object but may be performed at the discretion of the client.  An alternative proposal may include different or fewer treatment steps than the recommended treatment and is provided when a different approach is possible.


Written and photographic documentation records the condition of an object before and after treatment and is required by the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), to which NEDCC subscribes. Documentation cannot be omitted from the project.

Approving a proposal

A signed approval of treatment is required before we can begin work on your object. We also require payment of a deposit when a proposal is approved—usually 50% of the cost of the treatment. Once the approval and deposit are received, the project is placed on the schedule. 

Treatment Schedules

We generally conserve objects in the order in which proposals are authorized. Depending on the amount of approved work in-house, this can range from a few to several months. Please note that coordinating additional work with other departments such as Imaging Services may increase the time required to complete a project.


All objects must be insured under NEDCC’s insurance policy unless proof of alternate insurance or a waiver of subrogation is provided. Five hundred dollars ($500) of insurance is provided for each project at no cost.  Additional insurance can be purchased at a cost of $1 per $1,000 of declared value for each month an object is at NEDCC.  NEDCC is not responsible for the accuracy of the value declared by the client. Please call NEDCC to address specific insurance questions and limitations of coverage.

Communication Regarding Your Treatment

An email will be sent to inform you that treatment of your object is about to begin. Please feel free to call at any time for an update. If any problems or surprises are encountered during treatment you will be notified immediately.

Retrieving Your Object While Waiting for Treatment

Our queue of approved work is sometimes lengthy. If you are uncomfortable leaving your object and choose to retrieve it during the waiting period, the authorization and deposit can reserve a place in the queue. However, retrieval is generally not recommended. Some objects are too fragile to be subjected to additional travel without stabilization, and changes to an object’s condition may result in necessary changes to treatment proposals and cost estimates.

Financial Terms

Final payment is due when an invoice has been issued. You are responsible for the examination fee, cost of treatment, additional insurance coverage, and return shipping if applicable.


In order to protect your property and privacy we require written authorization to release information or objects to your representative. We can only release treatment proposals, treatment documentation (photographs and written reports), and the objects themselves to you or to your authorized agent. 


Receipt and return of your materials or packing and shipping
Email Jonathan Goodrich,
(978) 470-1010, ext. 215
Book conservation treatment and scheduling
Email Bexx Caswell-Olson,
Director of Book Conservation
(978) 470-1010, ext. 234
Paper conservation treatment and scheduling
Email Michael Lee,
Director of Paper and Photograph Conservation
(978) 470-1010 ext. 228



NEDCC's free resources can help.

Download and print NEDCC's handy guides:

Caring for Private and Family Collections

What's Behind Your Frame?
What to Look for in Framing Materials