Canadian Conservation Institute

Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Conservation science and treatments, preventive conservation, training and research for the better understanding and preservation of Canada’s cultural heritage collections.

Areas of expertise

The Canadian Conservation Institute houses a variety of scientists, engineers and conservators who undertake collaborative research in order to better understand the material properties of cultural heritage collections, their degradation phenomena and optimised conservation treatment.

Research services
  • Analytical services for heritage objects
  • Library and archival materials testing
  • Lightfastness testing of colorants in heritage objects
  • Conservation of heritage materials, including paintings, paper, books, indigenous and historic objects, archaeological materials, furniture and textiles
  • Modelling of deterioration mechanism of heritage materials
  • Risk assessment of heritage collections
Sectors of application
  • Arts and cultural industries



Microdiffraction system: Rigaku RINT Rapid II MM007

X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of microsamples using collimators ranging from 10 to 800 µm

Variable pressure scanning electron microscope: Hitachi SU3500 equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) (Oxford Inca X-act analytical silicon drift X-ray detector and AZtec X-ray microanalysis system) and wavelength-dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) (Oxford Inca Wave 500 4-crystal spectrometer) detectors

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging and microanalysis (EDS/WDS) of microsamples in high vacuum or variable pressure mode

Bruker ARTAX μ-XRF spectrometer

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry in situ analysis of museum objects and works of art with a spot size ranging from less than 100 µm to 1.5 mm

Bruker HYPERION 2000 FTIR microscope interfaced to a Tensor 27 spectrometer

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis of microsamples

Bruker Senterra Raman microscope equipped with three lasers (532, 633 and 785 nm)

Raman analysis of microsamples and in situ Raman analysis of museum objects and works of art using an external probe

Digital radiography: Carestream Industrex HPX-1 Digital System with Lorad LXP160 X-ray tube and GE Macrotank G300 X-ray tube

X-radiography of museum objects and works of art

Series 901 Leaf casting machine with a casting area of 640 mm x 760 mm

Used in the conservation of paper objects to strengthen the paper and replace losses

Virtis large capacity freeze dryer

Used in the preservation of wet or waterlogged materials such as waterlogged wood, wet heritage collections from salvage operations, etc.

ColdJet i3 MicroClean Dry Ice blaster

Traditional abrasive blasting type unit where dry ice is used as the blasting media; used for removal of corrosion or overpaint from objects, without any residue of the blasting media

Carbon dioxide snow cleaning apparatus - K6-10DG-B Dual Gas Model B

Used for removal or reduction of oils, grease, dust, metal polish residue and other from smooth, hard surfaces or highly textured surfaces

  • Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles, California)
  • Queen’s University, Masters of Art Conservation Program (Kingston, Ontario)
  • Centre de recherche sur la conservation des collections (Paris, France)
  • National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Kyushu National Museum (Dazaifu, Japan)
  • Canadian Light Source (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)



About the Canadian Conservation Institute

Canadian Conservation Institute's Annual Reviews for 2015–2016 and 2016–2017