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Session 4: Caring for Paper Collections


additional activities

This section gives examples of more detailed collection evaluations that you may wish to undertake for materials that have particular importance to your institution and/or are clearly in need of preservation attention.

These activities will require additional time, research, and information-gathering on your part, and are completely optional. They will prove useful as a starting point, however, if you choose to work with a professional conservator to conduct a collection condition survey of some portion(s) of your collection.

Bound Materials

Create a detailed listing of your historical book collection and the general condition of each volume.


Create a detailed listing of a particular archival collection, noting the various types of materials included (e.g., documents, photographs, pamphlets, small books) and their condition.

Maps/Plans/Architectural Drawings

If you have a large collection of maps, plans, and/or architectural drawings, make a detailed listing of the types of reproduction processes included in the collections, and the general condition of each category of material.


Create a detailed listing of your scrapbook collection, or a portion of your collection, noting the types of materials included in each scrapbook (e.g., photographs, ephemera, documents, clippings) and their condition.

Art on Paper

If your collection of art on paper is significant, create a listing of each item, the media used (e.g., paint, watercolor, pastel), the support used, and the condition of the item.