Caring for Family Heirlooms

Group of people inspecting historic item

Local residents get assistance from National Park Service staff in protecting historic family treasures


Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
History Lesson
Year Accomplished:

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park offered three free heirloom care workshops this summer. The series kicked off on July 12th with an open house for community members to bring in their family treasures and receive a free condition assessment. The workshop featured the Alaska State Museum's "science gun", a portable X-ray fluorescent spectrometry unit that allows conservators to identify different types of metal. The "science gun" was operated by Scott Carrlee, Alaska State Museum's Curator of Museum Services. Participants brought their small metal objects for identification,  Cori Giacomazzi,  a textile expert was on-hand to offer advice on preserving textiles in addition to park curatorial interns, Nicole Peters and Katie Bonnano.  Other workshops focused on care of heirloom items with hands-on experience. Participants in "Cleaning to Maintain Character" learned gentle cleaning techniques used by conservators to maintain the look and patina of historical artifacts. There was a demonstration of how to make your own vacuum attachment to clean fragile and dusty objects. Participants also had the opportunity to make their own museum-quality artifact housing from inexpensive, easily available materials.