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IHS Offers Free Opportunity to Learn the Value of Family Heirlooms

March 24, 2016

Indianapolis—Many families have historical objects that are passed down from generation to generation. Now, the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is giving guests a free opportunity to learn the value of those items and how to care for and preserve them.

In honor of National Preservation Week (April 24-30), IHS is hosting a Preservation Week Road Show on Saturday, April 23, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis. The free event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., brings appraisers and conservators together in one space, a unique take on the popular road show format.

"People not only want to understand more about their heirlooms, they feel a real responsibility to care for them as they hand them to the next generation," said Ramona Duncan-Huse, IHS senior director of conservation. "Bringing both appraisers and conservators to the road show just seemed like a natural way to do both."

Anyone interested in speaking with a professional appraiser or conservator must reserve a time slot for a free one-on-one consultation. From 10 a.m. to noon, and again from 1 to 3 p.m., appraisers will evaluate a wide variety of objects including works on paper, textiles, paintings, furniture, artifacts, rugs and jewelry. In addition, conservators can answer questions about caring for works on paper (fine art, letters, certificates and photographs), vellum, textiles and paintings.

For objects too large to carry, guests are encouraged to bring detailed photographs to share with appraisers and conservators. Appraisers also invite registered guests to send photos of any object prior to the road show to allow time for detailed research.

In addition to one-on-one consultations, the road show will feature a series of free presentations on a variety of topics such as how to read the history of an object, as well as digital and family history resources. No appointment is necessary for the presentations led by staff members of IHS, the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Archives.

Guests may register for their one-one-one consultations online at tickets.indianahistory.org or by calling (317) 232-1882. Appointments include parking and same-day admission to IHS's Indiana Experience, which includes the W. Brooks and Wanda Y. Fortune History Lab, where guests can learn a variety of conservation methods.

The Preservation Week Road Show is presented by IHS, in partnership with the Indiana State Library and the Indiana State Archives.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programming.


Indiana Historical Society’s Preservation Week Road Show Schedule and Appraisers Programs

10:15 a.m. | Digital Resources at the Indiana State Archives, Vicki Casteel, archivist and program director

11:15 a.m. | Learning to Look: Reading Objects and Uncovering the Past, Jessica Jenkins, former curator of collections at Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, Conn.

1:30 p.m. | Family History Resources at IHS, Suzanne Hahn, vice president, archives and library

2:15 p.m. | Research Opportunities at the Indiana State Library, TBA

Our Experts


Brady Dreasher, Art of Estates

Fishing gear or equipment, comics and magazines, toys, fashion, mid-century design

Donna Einhorn, Einhorn and Brown LLC

Fine silver, porcelain, terra cotta, cloisonné, books and prints, militaria

Catherine Folger, The Jewelry Judge

Jewelry, gems and watches

Bob Kasnak, Kasnak Restorations

Furniture, wood objects

J. Scott Keller, J. Scott Keller Personal Property Appraiser

Asian art, fine art and historic documents

Susie McHugh, SSM Art Consulting

Fine art paintings, prints, watercolor and drawings, sculpture, glass, pottery and textiles


Stephanie Gowler, Indiana Historical Society


Elizabeth Hague, Indiana State Archives

Manuscripts and documents

Jennifer Hein, Treatments LLC


Kathy Lechuga, Indiana Historical Society

Books and paper

Erica Schuler, Indianapolis Museum of Art


Rebecca Shindel, Indiana State Library

Art of paper