Established in 1977 as a regional conservation center, CCAHA soon expanded its service area to encompass organizations in all regions of the country and established itself as an important national resource. CCAHA has grown from a staff of five in 1977 to a current staff of 35. All the conservators have advanced training in conservation, with many also holding complementary degrees in subjects such as philosophy, history, and art history. CCAHA assists professionals in the cultural community with collections care through surveys, workshops, seminars, conferences, publications, and reference services. Since the formation of the Preservation Services Office in 1986, CCAHA has provided surveys for more than 675 museums, libraries, and archives; presented 400 workshops, seminars, and lectures; responded to an average of 40 calls per year for emergency assistance; and answered an estimated 2,500 technical inquiries each year.
Today, CCAHA is one of the largest regional conservation laboratories in the country, and is one of only two regional centers that specialize in the treatment of works of art and historic artifacts on paper. During the past year, CCAHA conservators completed treatment on more than 6,000 items for over 400 clients at CCAHA’s 8,500-square-foot facility in Philadelphia.