The QAR Conservation Laboratory is located at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville under a Memorandum of Agreement between ECU and NCDCR. The lab was dedicated in 2004. Most artifacts are covered with a heavy layer of corrosion and marine growth caused by years in seawater. Some artifacts can be identified during physical examination; however, most concretions require x-radiography to reveal the individual items contained within. This process allows researchers to identify, count, and add thousands of additional artifacts to the total QAR assemblage of more than one quarter million individual artifacts.
After recovery artifacts are kept stable in wet storage to prevent deterioration. This facilitates the lengthy process of cleaning, desalination, consolidation, drying, and analysis that will culminate in their public display and interpretation. The North Carolina Maritime Museum is the designated repository for the QAR collection.