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Session 3: Caring for Collections


additional activities

This section gives examples of more in-depth activities that you may wish to undertake to improve storage, handling, and exhibition practices. These activities will require additional time, research, and information-gathering on your part, and are completely optional.

Storage Furniture

Evaluate your existing storage furniture; determine what should be replaced and/or how current furniture could be reconfigured to improve storage conditions. Research furniture types and prices, and draw up a floor plan for rearranging/replacing furniture.

Storage Enclosures

Choose a collection in need of rehousing. Estimate the number and type of enclosures needed, and research prices and availability. Obtain catalogs from several suppliers to compare costs and assess a full range of available products. If you have questions about the composition of a product, ask the supplier for details.

Collections Conservation

Develop guidelines for your staff to use in determining whether or not a damaged book should be designated for repair.

Conservation Treatment

Identify an item or collection in need of conservation treatment. Use the AIC guide to conservation services, as well as references from other institutions, to identify several professional conservators who would be qualified to treat this item or collection. Get cost estimates, choose a conservator, and investigate options for funding.


Design an exhibition policy for your institution. Include guidelines for light levels, length of exhibit time, methods for displaying collections, and procedures for monitoring light levels and climate within exhibit cases.