Quilts and other heirloom textiles are important artifacts that can represent the history of a person, a family, a community, or a country. Preserving them is a way to maintain an important link to the past. Unfortunately, there are many agents, both natural and human-made, that can slowly (or quickly!) destroy these pieces of our history. The exhibition Quilts Under the Microscope presents a group of quilts that, after careful study, divulge some of the secrets of their past and help us determine the best to way to safeguard them for the future.

Curated by Marin Hanson and Patricia Crews with the curatorial assistance of the students in UNL's graduate-level Care and Conservation of Textiles course, the exhibition introduces museum visitors to the ways in which institutions like the International Quilt Study Center use science and technical analysis to discover the history of objects and to inform the museum's activities of preservation, interpretation, and display. Visitors learn how they can take care of their families' valued quilts and textiles in their own homes, to ensure that these heirlooms survive well into the future.

Download a pdf version of the accompanying guide To Protect & Preserve