Julie A. Reilly
A description and discussion of the Historic Area Conservation Technician Program at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is presented. The program began in the fall of 1986 in response to the growing realization that the collections exhibited in the 180 period room exhibitions within the Historic Area required closer monitoring by experienced, conservation trained staff. The conservation technicians address many of the problems created when large numbers of objects, of all materials, are exhibited in numerous locations with minimal on-site staff. Procedures have been developed to deal with many issues encountered in the buildings, including object dusting and cleaning procedures, custodial cleaning materials and procedures, environmental monitoring, the impact of interpretive policies and procedures, the use of food and flowers in exhibitions, security, the monitoring of collections for condition, and the critical need for communication between all of the departments that work in or use the Historic Area and the collections exhibited therein. The Program has also lead to an aggressive training schedule that includes sessions for all personnel that interface with the collections including security staff, building engineers, interpretive staff, custodial staff, and curatorial staff among others.