Gilmer’s Department Store

Gilmer’s Department Store employees, Jan. 4, 1923

Some of the more than 37,000 objects in our collection are in need of conservation and preservation. We hope you will consider becoming a Preservation Partner to help underwrite the cost.

This fall marks the High Point Historical Society’s seventh annual Adopt-an-Artifact campaign to raise conservation funds for an irreplaceable High Point artifact. Thanks to the support of the community, we have raised over $12,000 and conserved twenty-two artifacts in the last six years!  

In 2015, we raised funds to conserve several panoramic photographs showing employees of local companies, including Stehli Silk Mill and Gilmer’s Department Store. These photographs had been tightly rolled, probably for several decades, and were impossible to unroll without cracking and tearing. Conservation cost $200-300 each and resulted in beautifully flattened photographs that can be viewed, scanned, and included in exhibits. 

This year, we’d like to conserve a few more rolled items.
 Among these are more employee photographs from Tomlinson and Triangle Hosiery, along with photographs of High Point High School students and Alfred J. Griffin’s college diploma. The number of items we are able to conserve will depend on the funds that are raised.

Your tax-deductible donation to our Adopt-an-Artifact fund will help ensure that these artifacts will be saved for our community to enjoy!

Why is Conservation Beneficial?

  • Helps with long-term preservation of artifacts through restoration or stabilization
  • Slows down deterioration so that artifacts can be exhibited and enjoyed for years to come
  • Often necessary to correct damage from use, age, or old repairs

Why Does Conservation Cost so Much?

  • Conservation is handled by a trained professional, usually specialized in a certain type of artifact
  • Needs special tools and materials
  • Requires careful photographic documentation of all steps
  • Not all repairs needed are easily visible