Adhering to aims and objectives for which NRLC was set up in 1976 as a subordinate organization of Ministry of Culture, Government of India, It has since then been striving hard to advance the field of heritage conservation through research, education and training, field projects, knowledge communication, collaboration and public participation Program. NRLC’s contribution to science acquires recognition from Department of Science and Technology as a scientific organization in 1986 facilitated introduction of flexible complementing scheme for scientific posts and fellowship scheme of JRF / SRF and RA. Over the years, NRLC made notable achievements ; published about 200 research papers, developed methods for treating bronze disease, cleaning calcareous copper objects , inhibiting corrosion on lead objects and products - gluten free wheat starch , curcumin impregnated cloth , Neem leaf aroma embedded paper interleaf for books , manuscripts , eco-friendly museum showcase etc . NRLC extended it services to many museums, archives, archaeology departments, libraries and others throughout the country in conserving their collections and developed many trained conservation professionals through six month regular course run by this laboratory since 1978.
With sanctioning of Deposit Head in the year 2011 for undertaking conservation works of public and private bodies and individuals owning collections on charge basis, NRLC has now mandate of undertaking field projects that provides for jobs for the passed out trainees of NRLC and the students of National Museum Institute. Field projects on the one hand open up a new vista for NRLC to demonstrate the best practices, to serve as models for the conservation field and to provide opportunities for research and training; on the other hand, it provides service to museums, archives, libraries, archaeology departments and others in conserving their collections. Under the field projects scheme, NRLC conserved more than 40,000 artefacts while implementing the projects at national as well as international levels.
The library of NRLC has more than 15,000 volumes, subscribes about 75 periodicals, preprints in thousands and bring out bibliographies on special topics for conservation professionals. To make the library users’ friendly, NRLC initiated to put its resources on web and hope to complete the target by the end of 2016. Knowledge dissemination is also a key element for a research laboratory which is being achieved by NRLC though publications , conferences, seminars, workshops, articles in scientific and conservation journals, descriptions on NRLC website.
Important program has been launched by NRLC from the last year that is public participation in heritage conservation in which artisans and craftsmen, skilled human resource abundantly available in India , are being engaged in conservation providing them the basics, senior citizens are roped in heritage conservation forming the forum helping NRLC in creating conservation awareness and activism, researchers interested in heritage conservation join NRLC and avail its facilities gratis for periods ranging from three to nine months . The laboratory also hosts JRF / SRF / RA in its research projects and trainee, apprentice, intern, assistant, associate under it’s the most popular scheme “Field Projects.”
Collaborating with national and international bodies like IIC, ICOM, ICCROM, ICOMOS, UNESCO, UNDP is a continuing program of NRLC since long time. In the year 2013, then Director Incharge and now DG of NRLC elected as a Council Member of ICCROM, Rome for the period of four years, 2013-17.