• CCAHA front
  • 264 South 23rd Street  
  • Philadelphia, PA 19103
P 215.545.0613
F 215.735.9313


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When CCAHA founder Marilyn Kemp Weidner began her career in the early 1960s, paper conservation was considered secondary to the more established and respected practices of oil painting and objects conservation. Weidner saw the dearth of paper conservators as a problem: who would tend to the documents, photographs, and books that needed treatment? 

Weidner sought out paper conservation training and set up a studio in her living room. She quickly gained notoriety for her treatments, fielding projects from around the country. 

Business was good, but Weidner again noticed a void. Many small institutions could not afford to pay for conservation. The collections at these museums, archives, and libraries—critical to interpreting our shared heritage—weren’t receiving the treatment they needed.  

Weidner founded CCAHA in 1977 to address that issue. Membership was open to small- to medium-sized collecting institutions. With membership, institutions gained access to discounted treatment rates. 

CCAHA was founded by an entrepreneurial conservator who saw a need: treatment options for institutions with limited resources. Since then, CCAHA has gone through many changes—moving twice, extending services to private clients, adding dedicated book and photograph conservation sections, preservation services, and a digital imaging studio—but one thing has remained the same. 

Our primary concern remains the preservation needs of the changing world and how we can best meet them. Whether through collaborative grantwriting, subsidized collections surveys, or statewide project management, we are dedicated to anticipating and addressing these needs.

View our 40th anniversary blog here.