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Preservation Basics for Paper and Media Collections

Preservation 101 was developed with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Designed as an introductory course, it grounds participants in the theory and practice of preserving library and archival collections.

The online course includes these topics:

Session 1:  Introduction to Preservation
Session 2 : The Building and Environment
Session 3:  Caring for Collections
Session 4:  Caring for Paper Collections
Session 5:  Care and Handling of Photographs
Session 6:  Media Collections
Session 7:  Reformatting and Digitization
Session 8:  Emergency Preparedness
Session 9:  Building a Preservation Program
Session 10: The Preservation Assessment Review

NEDCC is pleased to offer Preservation 101 in two formats:




The Preservation 101 course is an interactive online course designed to introduce preservation topics such as environmental management, deterioration of materials, emergency preparedness, and preservation of paper-based, audiovisual, and digital formats. The course prepares participants to complete a preservation needs assessment and offers structured guidance on developing an institutional disaster plan. A series of 10 live, instructor-led webinars builds on self-paced study between sessions, using assigned readings and other resources to supplement the “classroom” discussions. 

The course uses NEDCC’s free online resource Preservation 101 as its textbook, with expanded resources and assignments. The instructor provides feedback on tasks throughout the course and helps guide participants in the creation of a preservation assessment Executive Summary. While the Executive Summary assignment is optional, completion of this assignment is required for those who wish to receive a Certificate of Completion and for eligible Certified Archivists who wish to earn Archival Recertification Credits (ARCs).

Putting theory into practice, participants develop recommendations for improvements that can be made within their institution, and they can use these recommendations to build a long-range preservation plan. Participants have access to webinar recordings and additional tools while engaging in a weekly dialogue with the instructor and fellow students. Weekly lectures are recorded so participants can review the content at their convenience.  


  • 10 live webinars led by an NEDCC Preservation Specialist
  • Introduction to care and  handling of paper, photograph, audiovisual, and digital collections, including reformatting and conservation options
  • Guided introduction to assessing your collection for preservation concerns, and identifying priorities
  • Examination of key causes of deterioration in archival, library, and museum collections
  • Opportunity to share experiences and concerns with other participants through online discussions
  • Dozens of supplementary resources to help guide your preservation planning
  • Certificate of Completion (for participants who turn in the final Executive Summary assignment)
  • Participants who are eligible Certified Archivists and who complete the final assignment earn 25 Archival Recertification Credits (ARCs) through the Academy of Certified Archivists

Who should attend?

  • Staff and volunteers at cultural heritage institutions who are responsible for preservation and access projects
  • Town clerks, county commissioners, and other municipal records holders
  • Corporate archivists and records managers
  • Students or graduates of library and information science

Cost: $650 Regular rate

         $500 Student rate (limited space available; copy of current student ID is required)

Registration Policies

  • Early registration is strongly recommended due to limited capacity
  • Registration will close on the deadline date or earlier if the class becomes fully enrolled.
  • Your registration will be confirmed after your credit card is processed, so please do not consider yourself registered until you receive a confirmation from NEDCC.
  • If you need to cancel your registration, the registration fee will be refunded minus a $25 processing fee when cancellation is made at least 48 hours before the start of the program.
  • Webinars are recorded and are available for participants to view for a period of six months following the live session.


Contact: [email protected]

NEDCC is grateful for support from the National Endowment for the Humanities for its training programs, outreach activities and web resources.


(Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these resources do no necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.)