Preserving Harvard’s Treasures
A glimpse into Harvard's museum and library restoration techniques
The care and preservation of these pieces is an art unto itself, and Harvard uses a variety of techniques (including virtual ones) to conserve them. For example:
- The Weissman Preservation Center focuses on saving paper objects from deterioration. Recently, Debora D. Mayer, the Helen H. Glaser Senior Paper Conservator, led the repair process of six Le Corbusier lithographs and two Jane Austen letters.
- The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies provides analysis and treatment for the Harvard Art Museums’ more than 250,000 objects in all media, including the Emerson-White Book of Hours.
- The Straus Center also collaborated with experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to use light to virtually restore Rothko murals.
- The Harvard Library Preservation Program comprises state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff committed to ensuring that library materials remain secure and usable for contemporary and future scholars, by employing a variety of strategies for conserving materials, digitizing collections, preserving library content in digital formats, and providing robust education and outreach programs.