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Preserving our Past: A Conservation Project

Conserving Our Stories
We collect objects in order to find meaning in the vast materiality of our world. Photographs, documents, clothing and tools – these artefacts hold stories that define a people and a generation. The passage of time alters both our understanding of artefacts, and their material condition.

The Ottawa Museum Network (OMN) represents local museums charged with the stewardship of Ottawa’s stories. Each museum’s collection contains artefacts charting Ottawa’s growth from lumber town to modern capital city. Due to a lack of resources, many of these artefacts are at risk.

The OMN Conservation Project seeks to understand the diverse nature of our collections and how to ensure their integrity for future generations. The OMN managed the project using economies of scale to achieve greater impact. One conservator conducted assessments on collections and completed treatments on artefacts. Parks Canada partnered with the OMN, providing free use of a conservation lab. Lasting benefits include the conservation of key artefacts, and a collection assessment for use as a future planning resource.

Conservation of artefacts is a priority today as we seek to preserve the past in order to help shape and inform the society of tomorrow.