How can I care for our collections?

Caring for collections is an important but challenging thing to do. A great deal of thought and planning has to go into the preservation and treatment of collections, including where things will be displayed and stored, how they should be handled, and what they need to be protected from.

Guides

Preventive Conservation Guide

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
file

Preservation and Consrevation

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

Collections Care Syllabus

(SHARE Museums East and Collections Trust, UK)
file

Emergency Planning Toolkit

(Renaissance East of England. Sarah Norcross Robinson, NMAS)
file

Environmental Monitoring – Introduction

(SHARE Museums East, UK)
file

Insect Pests Found In Historic Houses (Poster)

(English Heritage)
file

Guidelines for Pest Prevention

(SHARE Museums East, UK)
file

Environmental Guidelines for Museums

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

The Ten Agents of Deterioration

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

How-To

Nest an object

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
file

Identify Hazards in Museum Collections

(SHARE Museums East, UK)
file

Pack Museum Objects

(SHARE Museums East, UK)
file

Apply an accession number

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
file

Mark Objects with their Accession Numbers

(Collections Trust, UK)
file

How to apply accession numbers to textiles

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
video

How to apply accession numbers to glazed materials

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
video

How to apply accession numbers to unglazed materials

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
video

Housekeeping for Historic Sites – Video Series

(Northeast Museum Services Centre, USA)
video

Your Museum Coach: Minimizing light damage

(BC Museums Association)
video

Your Museum Coach: Handling an artifact

(BC Museums Association)
video

Your Museum Coach: Making a mount for an article in storage

(BC Museums Association)
video

Your Museum Coach: Cleaning an artifact

(BC Museums Association)
video

Tools

Sample Conservation Policy

(The National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography)
file

About Condition Reporting – Te Papa Resource Guides

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
file

Sample Condition Reporting Form

(Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ)
file

Conservation Resources

CCI Notes

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute (USA)

web

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (USA)

web

Institute of Conservation (UK)

web

Conservograms (USA)

(National Park Service)
web

Northeast Document Conservation Center (USA)

web

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Sites (USA)

web

The Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property

web

Caring for Sacred and Culturally Sensitive Objects

(Government of Canada)
web

Additional Resources

Display Materials

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

Guidelines for Pollutant Concentrations in Museums

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

Light Damage Calculator

(Canadian Conservation Institute)
web

Rust Never Sleeps

(Parks Canada)
file

Museum Pests

(Integrated Pest Management Group, USA)
web

Northeast Document Conservation Center (USA)

web

The AABC's Archivist's Toolkit

(Archives Association of BC)
web

Notes:

  • Regarding the How to apply accession numbers to glazed materials video, the ‘Paraloid Sandwich Method’ is called the barrier method in Canada.
  • Regarding the How to apply accession numbers to unglazed materials video, the adhesive Plextol B-500 is not available in Canada.

Preventive Conservation: A Manual

By Maggie Graham-Bell and published by the BC Museums Association in 1986. The Manual explores preventive conservation and recommends where and when to seek professional advice for specialized conservation problems. Includes chapters on: environment, handling, storage, care of various collection types, emergency planning, other resources and a list of products and suppliers.

Available through BC Museums Association. To determine if copies are available to order, email BCMA@MuseumsAssn.bc.ca


Photo: Copyright Royal BC Museum.