The WLCC at the Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston, SC is a facility dedicated to advancing knowledge and best practices in the study, analysis, conservation and preservation of materials and structures of historical significance. Our expertise is based on years dedicated to the investigation and stabilization of the H.L. Hunley submarine (1864) and its associated artifacts housed at the WLCC since 2000. In 2008, a project between the National Park Service and the Warren Lasch Conservation Center of Clemson University was initiated to develop a protocol for conservation treatment on a selected set of ordnance and architectural elements at Fort Sumter National Monument.
The laboratory champions an integrated approach where conservation practice, archaeology, architecture, and materials science work together to solve preservation challenges; the facility houses a state-of-the-art materials analysis, characterization and documentation laboratory. Currently the WLCC employs a wide range of digital documentation technologies, including photogrammetry, structured-light scanning, and 3D laser scanning.
Both our experience working on complex conservation projects, and our innovative and collaborative approach to conservation, have broadened our area of inquiry to include materials in historic preservation, which are being shared with the worldwide scientific community. As a result of our recognized expertise, particularly in metal conservation and our growing international reputation, the WLCC was selected to host the triennial meeting of the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group, METAL 2010, in Charleston, SC. It marked the first time the international conference was held in the United States.