Online Course: Caring for Museum Collections

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Each week of this course contains a narrative discussion of a topic in the form of Lessons. Lessons are must-reads. Lessons, along with readings from the two course books and the handouts, combined with your professional experiences, will provide you with a grounding in the week’s topic.

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of physical care and preservation of your museum collections including the following:

  • Know the major causes of deterioration for museum objects and how to use that information to enhance long-term preservation;
  • Know how to handle objects in the safest way;
  • Know how to examine and document the condition of objects in your collections;
  • Know how to display your collections in a way that prolongs their life;
  • Know how to store and house your collections in the way that best preserves them;
  • Understand the importance of environmental control for the preservation of your collections;
  • Know the best ways to clean your museum; and
  • Know how to perform a risk assessment of your museum and use it to write a disaster plan.

Who should attend:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with conservation of collections. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.