Author: Elise Carroll, Conservator
Besides special events and lectures, we offer free, educational tours throughout the year, providing visitors a first-hand look at what happens in an archaeological conservation lab! If you are unable to attend one of our Saturday events but would still like to see the lab, there are many different opportunities to learn about our work directly from our staff.
All of our tours require prior registration, and special tours need to be booked at least one month in advance. We are a working, industrial facility, meaning we are not able to accommodate tours on short notice. We halt work in the lab to be able to share our working space with tour groups, which requires preparation on our part!
Our First Tuesday Tours are offered the first Tuesday of each month at 10 AM and 2 PM. We can accommodate up to 20 people per tour, and prior registration is required, since space is limited. You will learn about the ship’s history as both the slave-trade vessel, La Concorde and as a pirate ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, underwater archaeology, archaeological conservation, and at the end see some completed artifacts before they head to the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort for permanent display! The QAR Lab staff lead the tours, so you actually get to walk through the lab with the conservators and archaeologists involved with the project. Tours truly give visitors a look at all of the work that goes into artifacts from recovery through museum preparation. A tour lasts anywhere from one to one and a half hours, all depending on how many questions you have for us. We love it when you ask questions!
We also offer special tours and large group tours, such as school groups and field trips. These follow the First Tuesday tour format but may be adjusted for group size or time limits. We ask that requests for special tours be made at least one month in advance, so that we can accommodate you. Please note, we only accept a limited number of these tours per month, and we are only able to offer tours on weekdays during normal business hours.
We look forward to sharing our lab space with you; answering questions about science, history, and archaeology; and facilitating your interest in North Carolina’s rich history! If you are interested in learning more about QAR Lab tours, please feel free to contact us at QAR@ncdcr.gov or request a tour through our website!
Images: Tours of the QAR Lab. Images by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.