These questions were compiled from the virtual reference transcripts. These were the most requested topics of discussion.

Check out our Vendor page for a listing of suppliers.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. How can I recognize a pest problem in our collections? What can I do to get rid of such a problem and prevent it from recurring?

Conservation Online (CoOL) provides this list of links to pest management resources.

Conserve-O-Grams from the National Park Service are another good resource. Look under section three for pest management.

An Insect Pest Control Procedure: The Freezing Process

Monitoring Insect Pests with Sticky Traps

Controlling Insect Pests: Alternatives to Pesticides

Anoxic Microenvironments: A Treatment for Pest Control



 2. Where can I find the materials I’ll need to re-house/store our collections?

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner for Use in Museum Collections

Museum Storage Cabinets

Buffered and Unbuffered Storage Materials

Determining Museum Storage Equipment Needs

Determining Museum Storage Space Requirements

Dust Covers for Open Steel Shelving

Modifying Museum Storage Cabinets

Safe Plastics and Fabrics for Exhibit and Storage

A. Furniture

Caring for Furniture

Cleaning Wood Furniture

Waxing Furniture and Wooden Objects

Protecting Wood with Preservatives and Water Repellants

Upholstered Furniture: Agents of Deterioration

Silicone in Furniture Waxes and Polishes


B. Books

Caring for Your Books

What makes a Book Rare?

Care and Security of Rare Books

 Use and Handling of Rare Books

How to Care for Bound Archival Materials

A Phase Box for the Protection of Books

C. Manuscripts

Storing Archival Paper-Based Materials

Housing Archival Paper-Based Materials

Archives: Preservation Through Photocopying

Removing Original Fasteners from Historic Documents

Attachments for Multi-Page Historic Documents

Archives: Reference Photocopying

Reformatting for Preservation and Access: Prioritizing Materials for Duplication

Storing Archival Paper-Based Materials

Housing Archival Paper-Based Materials

Handling Archival Documents and Manuscripts

How to Preserve Acidic Wood Pulp Paper


D. Objects

Caring For Your Metal Objects

Caring For Your Ceramics & Glass Objects

Removing Dust from Ceramic and Glass Objects

Storing and Handling Plaster Objects

Caring for Historic Longarms: Storage and Handling Requirements

Caring for Silver and Copper Alloy Objects

Storage Concerns for Geological Collections

Dusting Guidelines for Stone Objects and Interior Architectural Features


E. Paintings

The Care and Preservation of Oil Paintings

Caring for Your Paintings


F. Art on paper

Window Mats for Paper Objects

How to Flatten Folded or Rolled Paper Documents

Exhibit Mounting Variations for Objects on Paper

The Care and Preservation of Documents and Works of Art on Paper

Caring for Your Documents and Works of Art on Paper

G. Photographs

Caring for Your Photographic Materials

storage enclosures for negatives and prints


H. Textiles

Antique Textiles and Costumes

Caring for Your Textiles

Storage Techniques for Hanging Garments: Padded Hangers

Storage Techniques for Hanging Garments: Dust Covers

A Simple Storage Mat for Textile Fragments

Synthetic Fibers in Costume Collections


3. How do I find a conservator to work on items in my collection? 

For information on the process of selecting and working with a conservator, visit these two web pages: Jan Paris’ article  “Choosing and Working with a Conservator” .

The American Institute for Conservation’s  “Guidelines for Selecting a Conservator”  

To find the name and contact information of a conservator in a particular field.



4. What are some collection environment guidelines?

The American Institute for Conservation  Caring for Your Treasures series covers many types of collections and includes tips on proper environment.

The Conserve-O-Grams series also has some information on collection environment issues  in section three.


A. Environmental monitoring and control

Conservation Online: Environmental monitoring and control

Choosing UV-Filtering Window Films


B. Temperature and Relative Humidity Guidelines

Conservation Online: Temperature and Relative Humidity

Using a Psychrometer to Measure Relative Humidity

Calibration of Hygrometers and Hygrothermographs

Datalogger Applications in Monitoring the Museum Environment, Part I:Comparison of Temperature Relative Humidity Dataloggers (Revised)

Mold and Mildew: Prevention of Microorganism Growth in Museum Collections


C. Microclimates, Exhibit Cases

Conservation Online: Microclimates

Using Silica Gel in Microenvironments

Fabricating Secure Hangers for Framed Works of Art

Tamper-Resistant Fasteners for Museum Exhibit Cases

Fabricating Secure Hangers for Framed Works of Art

Tamper-Resistant Fasteners for Museum Exhibit Cases




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This page updated April 17, 2004
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