Working with CCAP

CCAP is guided by a code of ethics. CCAP seeks to abide by the American Institute of Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines of Practice and its commentaries. These documents spell out specific procedures designed to protect the interests of all parties to a conservation transaction—the client, the conservator, and the artifact itself. As a prospective client of CCAP, you can expect to be presented with information that will enable you to make well-informed decisions.

One-half hour of consultation time is offered free to all clients. CCAP never gives estimates for conservation treatment over the phone. One-half hour is usually sufficient for an initial consultation; however, every artifact must undergo a preliminary examination before estimates can be discussed.

Consultation is by appointment only. To arrange a time, please call 301-210-3731. If you reach a voicemail system, please leave a detailed message and state your phone number clearly; your call will be returned within one business day.

Whenever possible, the consultation should take place at the CCAP laboratory, located south of Laurel, Maryland. You are strongly encouraged to bring your paper artifact to the CCAP lab for a preliminary examination/consultation. If this is not possible, you may want to consider hiring a professional art courier to deliver it; CCAP must be notified well in advance of such deliveries. Alternatively, and especially if your collection is very large, the conservator may be able to conduct preliminary examination/consultation in the home, gallery, or museum; there is usually a charge for this service.

After the initial consultation, you will probably be asked to leave the artifact at the CCAP lab. Before formulating plans for treating a paper artifact, the conservator will need to perform a full examination and carry out various tests in order to determine exact condition and ascertain what types of treatment are feasible. Once this is done, she will be able to prepare a written condition report, treatment proposal, and cost estimate. Fees will vary according to the amount of work involved.

Written treatment authorization will be required. Before any conservation treatment can be undertaken by CCAP, you will be asked to approve the treatment proposal in writing. This contract between you and CCAP safeguards the interests of both parties to the transaction.

Treatment usually takes a few months. Once you have authorized a treatment, your artifact will usually be placed in a treatment queue that is generally from six to twelve months long. While awaiting treatment, the artifact can be left in our Mosler safe; there is no fee for this service.

Expedited treatment is available. Mold-infested artifacts, artworks needed for exhibitions, and other urgent items are eligible for expedited treatment. A slightly higher rate will be charged for work done on this basis.

The condition of your artifact will be documented before, during, and after treatment. Written and photographic records are used to document every treatment. After treatment is completed, you will be given copies for your records.

Conte crayon drawing before removal from low-quality backing board.
Conte crayon drawing after treatment.

Artifacts must be insured while on the premises. CCAP has never experienced a fire or theft loss, and its facility is equipped with modern fire suppression and security systems. Nevertheless, all artifacts left on CCAP's premises must be insured against common hazards. This is in everyone's best interests. On occasion, it may be possible to arrange for coverage under your own fine arts policy (in which case CCAP must be named as co-insured or issued a waiver of subrogation). However, in most circumstances, coverage under CCAP's own policy will be a better option; there is a small fee for this service.

Various payment options are available. Payment for all of CCAP's services can be made with cash or check.

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