Preservation Services in Puerto Rico

Project Background

The Preservation Services in Puerto Rico Initiative is a two-year project of CCAHA in collaboration with the Centro de Conservación y Restauración de Puerto Rico (CENCOR) created to build capacity for the preservation of documentary collections in Puerto Rico through education, training, and facilitation. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), this initiative aims to combine CCAHA’s long history with material expertise and preservation education with CENCOR’s knowledge of regional preservation concerns and network of cultural heritage stewards on the island.

Over the course initiative CCAHA and CENCOR will collaborate to provide preservation workshops, needs assessment training, and a resource toolkit in addition to facilitating preventive conservation internships, preservation meetings, and a final symposium where the results of the project will be shared.


Introduction to Preservation Needs Assessments

Training Program

This six-month hybrid course for mid-career professionals focuses on the skills required for preservation assessment and long-range preservation planning. In the first four months, participants are introduced to the topics of preservation planning, building envelope, collections environment, storage, collections care, and emergency management. In the final two months, participants apply those concepts to their own institutions by writing a preservation needs assessment and long-range preservation plan with the guidance and support of course instructors and fellow participants.

For more information, see the CENCOR program page:

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Preventive Conservation for Documentary Collections

Workshop Series

This preventive conservation focused workshop series includes four half-day, in person workshops presented in multiple locations across Puerto Rico: the San Juan area in the north, Mayaguez or Aguadilla in the west, Ponce in the south, and the island of Vieques. Topics covered in the workshops are adapted specifically for the Puerto Rican climate and audience.

  • Introduction to Preventive Conservation
  • Safeguarding Memory: Caring for Personal Collections
  • Red Flag! Identifying Preservation Needs While Processing Collections
  • Creative Housing Solutions

For more information on the workshop series including locations and registration information, see the CENCOR program page

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Preventive Conservation Fellowships

Training Program

Through this initiative, CCAHA and CENCOR are able to support three Preventive Conservation Fellows. Fellows are assigned to local institutions where they receive training on preservation and the ethical, cultural, and historical value of documentary collections in Puerto Rico. In addition to the work at their assigned sites, fellows participate in a group community-based project that is focused on the long-term preservation and accessibility of collections locally.

The 2024-25 Preventive Conservation Fellows are:

  • Joharis Ramos Abreu is working with special collections materials at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, where she is also finishing her degree in Art Theory. Joharis comes to the fellowship having participated in the Six-Week Introduction to Practical Conservation (SIP-C) through the University of Delaware, followed by an internship at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • Sofia Lugo is working with special collections at the Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico. Sofia is a recent graduate from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus where she received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. She has previous experience as a Student Employee at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Museum of Art and as a Conservation Volunteer at La Casa del Libro.
  • Joyce Vazquez Villanueva is working with collections of the Centro de Documentación at Liga de Arte San Juan. Joyce is a senior at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico studying Chemistry. She has experience as an Archivist Assistant at the Contemporary Museum of Puerto Rico and as an Intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is also an alum of the SIP-C program.

For more information on Fellowships, see the CENCOR program page

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Preservation Meetings


This series of five preservation meetings is designed to bring together experts and emerging cultural heritage professionals to talk about the state of preservation in Puerto Rico using the following topics as a guide: theory and research, education and training, public policy, heritage management, and conservation/intervention. The goal for this series of meetings is to brainstorm action items for the cultural heritage community on the island in the long-term preservation of Puerto Rican collections.

For more information on the Preservation Meetings including locations and dates, see the CENCOR website

Language Accessible Resources

Many of the resources created for the project are available in both English and Spanish.

Project Advisory Board

  • Dr. Aldo Lauria Santiago, Professor at the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies at the Department of History at Rutgers University
  • Caroline Gil, Conservator of Time-Based Media at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Miriam Centeno, Preservation and Digitization Strategist, Ohio State University Libraries
  • Verónica Oliveras Mercado, Book and Paper Conservator at the Huntington Library
  • Sylmarí Burgos Ramírez, President of the Society of Librarians in Puerto Rico
  • Karen Cana-Cruz, Executive Director at the Museo Biblioteca La Casa del Libro

Questions? Reach out to CCAHA’s Preventive Conservator, Maddie Cooper