NATCC 2023 - Considering Costume: The conservation of apparel, adornment and accessories

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Sunday, 22 October, 2023 to Thursday, 26 October, 2023
Monday, 6 June, 2022 - 23:59


Join us for the 14th biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) October 22-26, 2023 for 'Considering Costume.' The meeting will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, at Colonial Williamsburg. Considered the oldest and largest living history museum, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has a long tradition of studying and collecting historic textiles, costumes and accessories to inform and create a more authentic costumed living history. With this in mind, participants are invited to submit long or short format presentations or tips on topics that include, but are not limited to:

Treatment of three-dimensional textiles, costume & accessories
What challenges face the conservator and how are they navigated when treatment is needed to support or complete an object? What successes and failures have you experienced with particular conservation materials and techniques?

Unusual Materials
From monkey fur to arapaima skin, modern plastics to ancient resins we want to hear about your encounters with the unusual.

Mounting & Display
How have you presented the form of a costume while safeguarding its construction? How can accessories, whether jewelry, shoes, hairstyling, or hats expand the contextual information in displays? And do they lend their own unique constraints to display? Have you had to modify mannequins or had to devise a new mounting system to accommodate strange forms or heavy weights?

Technical studies & tips
Have you explored materials, designs, or techniques in a group or related pieces? Have you worked with colleagues at other institutions and/or other collections with similar works? Have you collaborated on projects with conservators in other disciplines? Have you found the solution to your problem? Might it be a solution for others? Please consider sharing it.

Storage & shipping solutions
Do you store costumes dressed or boxed: How do you keep objects safe and ensure preservation for the long term? How do you pack and travel your collection over short or great distances?

Exhibition challenges & solutions
How does one navigate between a desire to have longer exhibition durations and to travel shows? What innovations are next?

Conservators, curators, conservation scientists, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, collection managers, designers, preparators and others engaged with these topics are invited to submit proposals for presentations. Collaborations among professions and especially institutions are encouraged. Projects already presented or published will not be considered and proposed projects must be completed by the end of 2022.

Abstracts for long format, short format, and tips session papers may be submitted in English, or Spanish as a Word document (no PDFs). Abstracts must have a title, be a maximum of 300 words, and accompanied by a short author(s) biography (100 words maximum). Title, abstract and biography should be included as a single document along with author(s) contact information. Contact information should include: name, postal and email addresses, telephone numbers. Abstracts should not include images or other attachments.

Abstracts must be submitted by Monday, June 6, 2022 to Please send a message to if you do not receive prompt confirmation of abstract submittal.

Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the NATCC board. Authors of selected papers will be notified by September 30, 2022. All speakers are required to submit the full publication-ready version of their paper in English or Spanish by February 1, 2023. Authors are responsible for obtaining rights and permissions to publish photographs and graphics.

All accepted presentations will be presented in person in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. Presentation formats will be 20, 10 or 5 minutes. Short presentations can provide the opportunity to showcase emerging professionals or for sharing tips or potentially crowd sourcing solutions. The papers will be published in either English or Spanish, and distributed electronically along with printed abstracts in both languages. Please email any questions to and visit our website for updates at