Skip to Content


High quality storage furniture and storage enclosures increase the life expectancy of collections, but very fragile or deteriorated items in a collection may need additional intervention, particularly if they must be frequently used. Inappropriate furniture and enclosures can actively damage materials. Inadequate housekeeping can cause further damage by encouraging dust, dirt, pests and mold.


Choosing the proper storage furniture and enclosures can be confusing: there are many available choices, and the terminology can be unclear. What constitutes good-quality storage furniture? Can wood shelving be used? What type of metal shelving is recommended? What type of enclosure is best for each type of collection? What do the terms "archival" and "acid-free" really mean?

Careful handling is essential to ensuring that collections are not damaged when they are used—during retrieval, consultation by researchers, reshelving, and/or exhibition. What procedures are appropriate? More importantly, how do you make certain that staff and users are familiar with these procedures and follow them?

Appropriate storage, environment, and collection maintenance are all integral to the long-term survival of your collections. Familiarity with best practices and treatment options will contribute significantly to the longevity of collections maintenance.

This session will help you:

  • explore best practices for storing paper-based and related collections, as well as for collection maintenance;
  • evaluate current storage methods for your collections;
  • understand proper techniques for in-house repair, conservation treatment, and library binding;
  • evaluate your institution's current exhibition practices;
  • determine what changes are needed to improve storage, handling, housekeeping, and exhibition; and
  • identify additional resources to help you learn more about collections care.



Copyright© 2015 Northeast Document Conservation Center

 Funded by         logo_imls