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Conservators are trained to preserve museum collections according to a professional code of ethics. However, the term “preservation” is subject to more than one interpretation. On one hand, to preserve something implies using physical, preventive and scientific methods to ensure that material fragments from the past are there for future generations, but the term can also encompass efforts to continue and/or to renew past traditions and their associated material culture. In other words, preserving the past by being actively engaged in it, thereby ensuring its living future. In recognition of this, MOA’s philosophy of care and access is dynamic and evolves as new projects and protocols are developed with originating communities regarding the care and use of their belongings that are housed at MOA.

The MOA Conservation team is on Instagram! Follow us learn more about the work that goes into caring for and preserving the 50,000 objects housed at MOA.


Heidi Swierenga, Senior Conservator

Mauray Toutloff, Conservator

Conservation Resources

In 2004, MOA began a sizable renewal and expansion project that included rehousing 15,000 objects from MOAʼs diverse collection.

Housing Solutions – Research Supports Developed at MOA

The Foam and Black Tray Mounts Guide discusses the foam and matboard mounting system developed by MOA. These mounts are used for both the display storage of MOA’s collections.

Foam & Black Tray Mounts Guide

The MOA Conservation Guide was created to provide MOA volunteers with a basic understanding of conservation.

MOA Conservation Guide

Conservation Internships

MOA’s Conservation department accepts applications for Conservation Interns for two annual internship periods: summer (May – August) and fall (September – December). Learn more about MOA’s Conservation Internships.