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2017 is CCAHA's 40th anniversary.

On this page, we'll share the articles, photos, and recollections that tell the story of how CCAHA became a world-renowned leader in conservation science.

View our 40th anniversary blog here.
Selected articles from CCAHA's history

January 1985: CCAHA Moves

In 1985, CCAHA moved to the location it occupies now: the second floor of a historic building in Philadelphia’s Fitler Square neighborhood.

Early 1980s: Conservators Choose Melinex Polyester Film to Protect Historic Archival Materials

This piece details the use of Melinex polyester film in the treatment of historic documents.

8/8/1989: Old Documents Face New Menace

This article discusses a two-year initiative on the part of the Virginia State Historical Records Advisory Board to preserve their collections. 

9/5/83: Treaty of Paris Undergoes Conservation Treatment at LC

CCAHA was contracted to treat the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War as part of a celebration of its bicentennial. 

April 1985: Andrea Doria Salvage

In the mid-80s, CCAHA was involved in a high-profile triage project: the treatment of the paper currency from the sunken ocean liner Andrea Doria.

3/17/95: University is Home to Precious Collection

This article details CCAHA’s work on Villanova University’s McGarrity Collection, a large collection of objects related to Irish culture. 

1982: Stewards of the Past

This article features CCAHA’s work on the InterNorth Art Foundation’s collections, which were on permanent loan to the Joslyn Museum of Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

1984: Restoration of Walter Drawings Continues 

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s Fall 1984 newsletter, Athenaeum Annotations, was a special conservation issue, highlighting the treatment of a recently-acquired collection of paintings and drawings of Thomas Ustick Walter, one of the foremost American architects of the 19th century.

1984: The Declaration of Independence:  

This article highlights one of CCAHA’s early, high-profile projects: the 1984 treatment of a draft of the Declaration of Independence written in Thomas Jefferson’s hand.

This article discusses the conservation and preservation uses of a new material—Mylar—through an interview with and photos of CCAHA.

1/26/83: Mission: Keep History in Sight

This article, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, highlights an important aspect of CCAHA’s work: disaster recovery.

November 1982: 10,000 Years of Work

This November 1982 profile of CCAHA touches on two salient concepts in the conservation field: standardized conservation training and the “inherent vice” of all objects. 

January 1982: Truly a Super Idea

Published in the January 1982 edition of the Association of Canadian Archivists Bulletin, this short blurb on CCAHA and its facilities lauds the development and use of new technologies.

1/5/79, 7/16/79, 1980: CCAHA's First Press Releases

As a nonprofit, CCAHA has long relied on grant funding. Our first press releases testify to this, calling for and then excitedly announcing grants that supported the foundation of CCAHA.

2/26/65: "She Restores Wrinkled Utrillos"

Published Friday, February 26, 1965, this article features a tour of a space like the one CCAHA initially occupied; when Marilyn Kemp Weidner founded CCAHA in 1977, she and her small staff operated out of her studio.

1/21/79: "Paper Work: Soul of the New Center"

This article—from January 21, 1979—describes the beginnings of CCAHA. The article details how CCAHA was founded to serve small- to medium-sized collecting institutions. In order to have objects treated, institutions needed to become members by paying a yearly membership fee of $25.