The multidimensional projects of the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) are carried out by three programmatic ways. Striving to build capacity in the conservation field is central to the department's mission and values. We achieve this through dissemination of our work to the profession, engagement and communication with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, and through capacity-building and training activities.
The NRLC is a proponent of a values-based approach to conservation. Thus projects commence with determining the full range of values—including material, historical, social, and cultural values—that make the place significant, then policies and actions are developed that conserve these values.
Work generally begins with a feasibility study during which the conceptual and practical parameters of the project are evaluated. Projects are then designed in cooperation with partners and implemented according to a phased work plan.
While projects vary in their nature, emphasis, complexity, and scope, all adhere to a consistent methodology that includes documentation and recording, diagnostic research, investigation and assessment, the development and testing of conservation treatments and strategies, implementation, and dissemination and training.
Our work promotes a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together specialists from the arts and sciences to exchange ideas and develop creative and sustainable solutions for preserving our cultural heritage.
Project teams consist of NRLC staff, representatives of partner organizations, and consultants representing a wide range of disciplines. Current project teams include archaeologists, conservators, engineers, architects, architectural historians, biologists, chemists, curators, museum administrators, and site managers.