Museum Conservation Center

About the Museum Conservation Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center’s Museum Conservation Center, a nine-floor LEED Certified Green Building, houses the History Center’s collection of more than 32,000 artifacts. The 55,000-square-foot storage space features Smithsonian-quality lighting, temperature, humidity, pest control, and security.

Conservation vs. Restoration

What is conservation?

Conservation is the process of preserving an object, stabilizing it, and improving its appearance for future generations. Conservation also helps to preserve the historic value of an object and often increases its market value. Conservation may be the right choice for your object if you’re concerned about preserving an heirloom for generations to come, maintaining the monetary value of your object, or retaining the patina – or appearance of age or history – of your object.

What is restoration?

Unlike conservation, restoration is the process of returning an object to its original state or condition, rather than preserving it as it is. Restoration may be the right choice for your object if you would like to use your object regularly, or would like it to appear to be like new.

Conservation Services

The History Center can help patrons access the same quality assessment and conservation treatments as museums provide for their own collections. History Center staff will discuss your needs, and evaluate the goals for the care and conservation of your objects, and refer you to a highly trained professional conservator who will provide a proposal for treatment.

The American Institute of Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works is also an excellent resource for finding a conservator in your area, and for tips on caring for your own collections.

More Information

For more information or to discuss conservation services or materials, please contact Courtney Keel Becraft at 412-454-6434 or

Other Services


The History Center staff can refer you to appraisal experts to assist you. Please contact the museum directly at 412-454-6000 for assistance.


If you’re interested in donating your object to the History Center, you can learn more about the process on the Collections page.