Conservation treatment – General information

The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) is a leader in conservation treatment, research, and development, and offers a wide range of services. Included in these services, through the collaboration of specialized conservators and conservation scientists, is a unique, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary approach to the conservation treatment and restoration of cultural objects.


Treatment expertise encompasses both traditional experience and knowledge of the latest procedures and materials that is verified through research, testing, and analysis. CCI offers the following advantages:

  • work done in well-equipped laboratories with full environmental control and security
  • a multidisciplinary team approach in the treatment of complex objects
  • full analytical and research support
  • a range of technical documentation services
  • extensive post-treatment care programs

Advisory and on-site consulting

More than 25 years of experience treating in excess of 13 000 objects has given CCI a broad understanding of the complex issues surrounding conservation, and the ability to help others in dealing with treatment challenges. Some of the ways CCI can be of assistance include:

  • evaluations of the condition of objects and recommendations on their treatment, storage, and display
  • conservation guidelines for treatment and evaluation of proposals and tenders to ensure conservation standards are met
  • collection surveys to determine condition of objects including preventive conservation strategies and treatment priorities
  • project management services for large or complex treatments
  • consultations for ongoing treatment projects
  • development of post-treatment care programs and strategies
  • emergency response to disasters such as floods, fire, or vandalism
  • advice on stable materials and fabrication for the commissioning, installation, and care of art in public places
  • assistance and on-site treatment services on archaeological sites


The unique collaboration of conservators and scientists ensures that CCI is abreast of the most recent developments in conservation. Working together, customized training programs that meet your specific needs can be developed: specialized conservation training for conservators, at CCI or on-site; seminars, workshops, and lectures ranging from basic to advanced, covering a wide range of topics relating to the care, preservation, and treatment of collections; training on the use of specialized treatment equipment and procedures; specialized treatment internships at CCI.

See a full list of workshops for more details on professional development and training activities. Areas of treatment expertise include the following:

  • textiles such as painted flags, banners, historic costumes and accessories, wall hangings, archaeological and ethnographic textiles
  • paintings on canvas, wood, and other supports
  • sculptures
  • architectural interiors, including decorative elements, finishes, fixtures, and hardware
  • furniture and decorative objects
  • fine art on paper such as watercolours and prints
  • books and archival materials
  • historic, scientific, and ethnographic objects made from a wide range of materials
  • musical instruments
  • archaeological materials
Scientist looking through microscope.
Technology finds alternative applications in conservation treatments.
Damaged metalwork in beaux-arts lighting fixture.
Repairing damaged metalwork in beaux-arts lighting fixture.
China doll.
Composite artifacts present special challenges.
Graffiti on a sculpture.
Removing graffiti from outdoor sculpture.
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