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Melissa's Conservation

Melissa has over 20 years' experience in paper conservation.  She has collaborated with clients on a wide range of treatments and projects since establishing her practice in Toronto in 2012.  She has worked with institutions large and small to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders.  


Melissa earned her Master's degree in art conservation from the Winterthur / University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation in 2003.  Prior to starting her practice, she was awarded contracts and held positions with the following Museums and Archives in North America and the Netherlands.

  • Kress Conservation Fellowship, Teylers Museum, Haarlem

  • Museum Boijmans van Beunining, Rotterdam

  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 

  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 

  • Art Gallery of Ontario

  • The Archives of Ontario


Conservation Resources

These publications are intended for a broad audience and aim to familiarize those who care for culture heritage with topics in preservation and conservation.

Canadian Conservation Institute - Canadian Conservation Institute Notes

North East Document Conservation Center - NEDCC Preservation Leaflets

U.S. National Park Service - Conserv-O-Grams

Learn Conservation Terms

Puzzled about all the terms used in conservation?

Here is an overview to shed light on them.

Conservation Terms

Conservation ⁠— Actions devoted to the preservation and treatment of art, documents, and cultural heritage for future generations. Conservation activities are supported by research and education.  


Conservators — Professionals educated in conservation with specialized knowledge, training, and experience in the preservation and treatment of art, documents, and cultural heritage.  Conservators act in accordance with an ethical code such as the CAC and CAPC Code of Ethics and Guidance for Practice.


Documentation — Written and photographic records made in the course of treatment or during conservation. Documentation can describe the condition of a work, materials and processes used during a treatment with resulting changes, and provides recommendations for the future care of the artifact. Documentation reports are a part of conservation treatment and are included with these services. These records should be retained on file in a permanent format by the custodian or owner of the artifact.


Preservation — Protection of art, documents, and cultural heritage through actions that minimize chemical and/or physical deterioration and damage.  The primary aim of preservation is to retain informational content and prolong the life of artifacts.  Preservation may involve stabilization treatment or passive measures such digitization, monitoring environmental conditions, or re-housing.


Preventative Conservation — Measures undertaken to mitigate deterioration and damage to art, documents, and cultural heritage, but which do not involve treatment interventions.  Preventative Conservation includes actions to maintain environmental conditions and appropriate lighting, ensuring handling and maintenance procedures for storage, exhibition, packing, transport, and integrated pest management.  Emergency preparedness and response, reformatting and duplication, and construction of artifact enclosures are likewise Preventative Conservation.


Restoration — Treatment undertaken intending to return art, documents, and cultural heritage to a known earlier state.  The goal of restoration is to illuminate the qualities of the artifact.  Treatment is based on respect for the remaining original material and clear evidence of the earlier state to which the work is restored.  


Treatment  — Direct intervention to art, documents, and cultural heritage that alters its chemical and/or physical composition.  Treatment can range from minimal stabilization to restoration.  Where possible, treatment aims to be reversible.  The primary goal of treatment is to prolong the life of an artifact.

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