Conservation/Preservation Information for the General Public

While some of these resources are in fact intended for museum, library, and archive professionals, in general they do not require a technical background, and should be of use to the lay public.

Some of these sites are vendors of products and services and the information offered is intermixed with commercial content. Mention of a resource here does not in any way indicate endorsement of any product or service, nor does it imply endorsement of the validity of the technical information itself.

See also the following areas in CoOL

Preservation Resources listed by Author/Organization/Company
Finding a Conservator
Reference Services

Preservation Resources listed by Author/Organization/Company

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA)
Learn More about Rare Books
Book Collecting by Allen and Patricia Ahearn
Frequently Asked Questions
Collecting Links Information on bibliophilic and bibliographic organizations, societies, and libraries, in addition to member articles on an array of subjects.

American Institute for Conservation
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Conservation
Definitions of Conservation Terminology
How to Choose a Conservator
Find a Conservator

The tool provides a systematic, consistent method of obtaining current information to identify and locate professional conservation services from all across the United States and abroad. It allows you to address a wide range of conservation problems, whether your needs are long-range or short-term and whether your collection consists of thousands of valuable historic artifacts, one priceless work of art, or items of great personal value.

Caring for Your Treasures: Guides for Taking Care of Your Personal Heritage
The Bishop Museum
Bugs are eating my family treasures
Mat and Frames
Wet Cleaning Quilts at Home
Preserving Book Collections in Hawai'i
The Care of Feathers
Archival Mounts For Paintings On Textiles
Disaster Preparedness and Recovery For Works Of Art On Paper
Caring for Tapa
Caring for Calabashes

Preservation Photocopying, BookNote 2.6

Preservation Advisory Centre, British Library
Understanding and caring for bookbindings
Cleaning books and documents
Jeanne Drewes
Library Insurance Bibliography
Bibliography of Insurance Information Sources
Some Insurance Companies with Cultural Institutions Policies

Glow Imaging
How To Preserve Old Photos Without Losing Your Mind

Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village
Caring from Your Artifacts
A series of preservation fact sheets, intended for the lay public, and developed by FFM&GV conservation staff. These fact sheets provide basic information on the care, cleaning, and handling of a particular type of artifact, referral information to other conservation organizations, and a bibliography of authoritative works.
Archival materials
Brass and bronze
Glass and ceramics
Furniture and wooden objects
Historical iron
Oil paintings
Works of art on paper
Photographic prints
Historical silver
Antique textiles and costumes
Heritage Collections Council
reCollections: Caring for Collections Across Australia

Heritage Garment Preservation
Katherine Wright
Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation: Get the Facts! A Consumer Report

Nimfa R. Maravilla
Causes of Deterioration of Paper

Heritage Preservation
Tips for Safely Cleaning Family Treasures
Tips for Salvaging Water Damaged Valuables
Several print resources can also be ordered online

Image Permanence Institute (IPI)
Scrapbook and Home Archives Preservation

Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium
ICPC Tip Sheets
Audio Tapes
Precious Documents
CD-DVD Tip sheet
Creating Enclosures
Time Capsules
Drying Materials
Preserving Scrapbooks
Creating an Archival Scrapbook or Photo Album

Film Storage Information

Library of Congress
Preparing, Protecting, Preserving Family Treasures

Frequently Asked Questions on Preservation
  • Care, storage, and display of books, documents, works of art on paper
  • Dealing with wet, moldy, or insect-infested books
  • Preserving family photographs, newspaper clippings
  • Dealing with insects in books
  • Preserving leather
Preserving Works on Paper: Manuscripts, Drawings, Prints, Posters, Maps, Documents
Care, Handling and Storage of Motion Picture Film
Caring for Cylinder Recordings
Cylinder, Disc and Tape Care in a Nutshell
Leather Dressing
Preservation of Scrapbooks and Albums
Caring for Your Photographic Collections
Care, Handling and Storage of Books
Preservation Photocopying
Guide to Preservation Matting and Framing
More guides, bibliographies, and supplier lists are available at Collections Care and Conservation

Library of Virginia
Guide to Preserving Family Historical Records
How to Protect Your Family Papers
Protecting Your Books
Protecting Your Family Photographs

Minnesota Historical Society
Framing papers and photos for display and preservation.
Framing textiles for display and preservation.
Is Your Textile Suitable for Framing? (PDF)
Mounting Flat Needlework Textiles on a fabric-covered board for framing (PDF)
Preserving Historic Quilts (PDF)
Caring for damaged books. (PDF)
Creating your own time capsule. (PDF) Advice for Framing Art, Documents, Letters, Photographs, and Other Paper Items
Conserving your composition doll.
Restoring belongings damaged by natural disasters.
Salvaging water-damaged photographs.
Salvaging flood- and other water-damaged valuables of all kinds.
Preserving your photographs.
Salvaging water-damaged wood.
Tech Talk newsletter
Conserving firearms, Part 1. (PDF)
Conserving firearms, Part 2. (PDF)
Caring for photographic materials, Part I. (PDF)
Preserving Your Photographs (PDF)
Caring for photographs, Part 2. (PDF)
Storage of glass-plate photographic negatives. (PDF)
Conserving political buttons. (PDF)
Treating and maintaining masonry, Part 1. (PDF)
Treating and maintaining masonry, Part 2. (PDF)
Preserving historic quilts. (PDF)
Caring for sports memorabilia. (PDF)
Preserving Newspapers: When and How To (PDF)
Conserving archaeological artifacts found under water

Minnesota State University Library
Preventive Conservation
How to Treat a Book
Preservation quiz
Patricia Morris
Conserving Works of Art on Paper: Suggestions from an expert on the care and conservation of valuable works on paper Originally appeared in The Wingspread Collector's Guide to Santa Fe and Taos, Volume 9

Missouri State Archives
The Local Records Preservation Program publishes a collection of fact sheets called Conservation Notes
Storage and Housing of Archival Collections
Guidelines for Selecting Plastic Enclosures for Collections Storage
Humidification and Flattening of Documents
Integrated Pest Management
Sources for Archival Supplies
Conservation Terms
Sources for Preservation Information

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
Answers to questions about: care of outdoor bronze sculpture and wood sculpture; care of twentieth-century furniture; matting and framing works of art on paper; protecting paper from light damage; displaying and storing artwork; foxing

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments

"These guidelines are intended for use by building owners and managers, environmental contractors and environmental consultants. It is also available for general distribution to anyone concerned about indoor mold growth. The attached fact sheet, Mold Growth: Prevention and Cleanup for Building Owners and Managers, is a simplified summary of these guidelines, which may be useful for building owners, managers and workers."

Facts About Mold

National Archives of Australia
Preserving CDs and DVDs
Archival quality paper products
Preserving archival volumes
Preserving paper documents and artworks
Rules for use of 'Archival Quality' certification trademark
Choosing the right paper
Preserving motion picture film
Preserving gramophone discs
Preserving magnetic media
Preserving maps and plans
Preserving microforms
Preserving objects
Preserving paper files
About the Photographic Activity Test
Preserving electrostatic and laser photocopy prints
Preserving photographs
Register of certified archival quality products
Managing records on thermal papers
Recovering flood-damaged records
Recovering fire-damaged records
Integrated pest management
Displaying archival records
Creating a time capsule

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Caring for Your Family Archives
General Preservation of Records


Paper, Parchment

Bound volumes

Motion Pictures
Photographic Materials
Audio and Video Tapes and Disks
Disaster Prevention and Recovery
Time Capsules

National Archives, United Kingdom
Caring for your prints, drawings and watercolours (PDF)
Caring for your photographs
Caring for your Books
Caring for your records
Protecting records against disasters (PDF)
Care, Handling and Storage of Removable Media (PDF)
An Introduction to Seals
Care, Handling and Storage of Removable Media

National Library of New Zealand
Care of Sound Recordings
Fact Sheet

Northern States Conservation Center
Collection Care
Information on: collection environment, numbering, storage, exhibiting, handling, cleaning, pest control, security, long range planning, and emergency preparedness

Hugh Phibbs
Articles on Conservation/Preservation in Picture Framing Magazine

Annual Preservation Supplements
Preservation/Conservation Framing, Feb 1993
Preservation Hinging, Feb 1994
Creating Space for Preservation Framing, Feb 1995
The Frame: A Complete Preservation Package, Feb 1996
Preservation Matting for Art on Paper, Feb 1997
Frame Aesthetics and Preservation, Feb 1998
The Science of Preservation Framing, Feb 1999
Preservation Hinging, April 2000
Edge Strips and Other Hinge Alternatives for Preservation Framing, April 1901
Sealed Frames for Preservation, April 1902
Building a Preservation Frame, April 1903
Creating Space for Preservation Framing, April 1904

A Preservation Project: Housing the Wright Brothers Collection, April 1904
Air Quality, August 1999
Alphacellulose: The Basis of All Permanent Papers, August 1993
Animation Art: It's Not Funny Stuff, May 1993
Art and Light: The Benefits and the Dangers, June 1993
At What Cost Conservation?, Aug 1994
Basic Preservation Mounting Techniques: Alternatives to Hinges, April 1997
Benefit vs. Cost in Preservation, Feb 1901
The Care of Prints with Plate Marks, June 1992
Caring for Ivory Objects, Aug 1997
The Changing Role of Preservation Matting, June 1995
Common Types of Damage to Photographs, Oct 1993
Condition Reports, Sept 1996
Conservation of Vellum and Parchment, June 1992
Conservation & Restoration for Picture Framers, March 2000
Conservation Mounting Issues, April 1992
Conservation Mounting Methods, Jan 1991
Consigning Art for Conservation, Oct 1996
Corrosion of Metal Objects: Part 1, Aug 1901
Corrosion of Metal Objects: Part II, Sept 1901
Creating an Intermediate Conservation Package, Nov 1996
Creating Your Own Conservation Deep Beveled Mats, May 1993
Deacidification, Feb 1901
The Effects of the Environment, June 1992
The Fit-Up Process, May 1992
The Flow of Preservation: Original Works On Paper, April 1901
The Flow of Preservation: Needleart, Nov 1901
The Flow of Preservation: Reproductions on Paper, July 1901
Framing Issues for Photographs, Oct 1996
Hinging Oversized Works of Art, April 1991
Housing George Washington's Will, March 1903
Humidity in the Frame, Feb 1995
The Importance of Temperature and Humidity, July 1996
Light + Art = Fading, July 1991
Light Damage, June 1999
Light: The Essential Element, July 1991
Lightfastness and Color Permanence, June 1995
Lighting, Glazing, and Environment, March 1992
Local History Restored, April 1901
Looking for Lignin, July 1996
Maintaining A Healthy Display Environment for Photographs, Oct 1995
Make Your Own Conservation Materials Box, Feb 1996
Mending Tears, June 1992
Mylar Encapsulation, June 1992
Needleart Preservation Through Framing, Dec. 1997
Paper Humidification, Feb 1991
Photographic Restorations: A Digital Experience, Oct 1994
Pollutants: Library of Congress to Embark on Research, May 1904
Preparing Condition Reports, Jan 1903
Preservation Basics, Sept 1996
The Preservation Framing of Needleart, Jan 1995
Preservation Framing: Selling a Standard-Not An Alternative, March 1997
Preservation Mounting Various Objects, May 1999
Preserving Flowers for Framing: Part I, Sept 2000
Preserving Flowers for Framing: Part II, Oct 2000
Preventing Mold Growth, Aug 2000
Problems with Watercolors, July 1992
RC Photo Deterioration, Oct 1999
Standard Procedure, August 1999
Storing Works on Paper, Sept 1999
Surviving Water Damage, Nov 1999
Test Your Preservation Knowledge, June 1999
Test Your Preservation Knowledge: Part II, July 1999
Wood Pulp Conservation Matboards, Feb 1992
What Is the Photo Activity Test?, Feb 1996
Why Paper Art Buckles in a Frame, March 1991
The World Outside the Frame: Maintaining a Healthy Display Environment, Oct 1995
Understanding the Library of Congress Purchase Specifications, May 1998

Preserve, Inc.
Guidelines for Conservation
Information about preserving dance documentation, including
Documents on paper
Photographs and Film

Public Record Office
An Introduction to English Paper
An Introduction to Parchment
An Introduction to Photographs
An Introduction to Seals (PDF)
An Introduction to Watermarks (PDF)
An Introduction to Writing inks (PDF)
An Introduction to Printing inks (PDF)
A Brief History of Textiles in England (PDF)

Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries
[Formerly the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC) and the Library and Information Commission (LIC)]
Conservation of Archives and Ephemera
Conservation of Books
Conservation of Ceramics and Glass
Conservation of Clocks
Conservation of Costume Accessories
Conservation of Costume Collections
Conservation of Furniture
Conservation of Musical InstrumentsConservation of Natural History Specimens
Conservation of Photographic Materials
Conservation of Plastics Collections
Conservation of Works of Art on Paper: Prints, Drawings and Watercolours
Flat Textiles
Magnetic and Digital Materials
Museum Conservation Materials
Silver and other Polished Metals

ScreenSound Australia
How to Care for your Audio Collection
How to Care for your Film
How to Care for your Video

Wendy Smith
Preservation glossary--libraries and archives

Smithsonian Center for Materials Research & Education (SCMRE) Formerly Conservation Analytical Lab (CAL)
General Topics including
Artifact Appraisals
Art Conservation Organizations
Art Conservation Product Suppliers
Art Conservation Training
Caring for Old Houses
Dating of Artifacts
Time Capsules

Furniture & Wooden Objects
Biological Deterioration & Damage to Furniture & Wooden Objects
Fundamental Construction Techniques for Furniture & Wooden Objects
Furniture Care and Handling
Guidelines for Taking Wood Samples from Objects of Antiquity
Moving, Packing, and Shipping Furniture

Care and Handling of Ivory Objects
Caring for Antique Armaments
Caring for Antique Communication Devices: Phonographs, Radios, Telephones, etc.
Caring for Clocks and Watches
Caring for Dolls and Toys
Caring for Musical Boxes

Caring for your Paintings
Caring for Acrylic Paintings
What Makes the Painting Image Change?
Does My Painting Need to be Cleaned?
What Does it Mean to Have a Painting Restored & How do I Pick a Conservator?
Painting Conservation Glossary of Terms
What is a Painting?
Painting Varnishes

Paper-Based Materials
Analysis of paper artifacts and documents
Analytical tests graphic
Caring for Audio-Visual and Photographic Materials
Caring for Globes
Caring for Folding Screens

Caring for Paper Artifacts (with Appendices on Preservation Responsibilities; Preventive Care Action Steps That Can be Implemented Immediately With Low Cost and High Impact; Deterioration Problems Encountered in Document Collections, and Possible Solutions; Summary of Light Damage to Documents and Recommendations for Control; Housing Options for Paper Documents; Basic Handling: Some Preservation Guides for Paper Documents....)

Caring for Papier-Mache
Collections Maintenance for Paper Materials:
Factors to consider before starting
Preparation of work area, materials and supplies
Housing options
Housing descriptions, Housing graphics [1] [2]
Use procedures

Curriculum development for the study of paper artifacts and documents (graphics for topics related to problems and
Exhibition Installation and Dismantling Precautions for Paper-Based Materials
Framing and Unframing Paper Materials
Handling Paper Artifacts
Housing and Environment Options for Paper Documents on Display (graphic)
Housing and Environment Options for Paper Documents in Storage (graphic) (graphic)
Preservation Processing Steps for Paper-Based Collections
Preservation Responsibilities for Paper-Based Collections (graphic)
Putting Together a Time Capsule
Recognizing problems and developing solutions for paper artifacts and documents (problems graphic) (solution graphic)
Selected Bibliography for the Preservation of Paper Documents
Smithsonian's Research, Libraries and Archives Collection Conservation Task Force (RELACT)
Sources of Deterioration and Damage to Paper Materials
Deterioration Problems Encountered in Document Collections

Acid Free Tissue Paper for Textiles and Costume
Geography and Textile Storage
How Much Will It Cost? Textile Repair
Insects and Wool Textiles
Mold and Mildew
Photography of a Textile for Insurance, Appraisal, or Conservation
Stain Removal from Textiles
Tips on How to Handle Antique Textiles and Costumes
Velcro Suspension System

Gwen Spicer
Glossary of safe materials for storage
State Library of Victoria
Conservation guides
Caring for family history documents
Caring for photographs
Caring for works on paper
Dealing with mould
Dealing with pests
Framing artworks on paper
Packing & storing books
Storing newspapers
University of Delaware Library
An Ounce of Prevention discusses "the causes of damage and deterioration, and what library staff and users can do to help preserve the collections".

University of Kansas Libraries
Brian J. Baird
Preserving Your Personal Collections "discusses how people can preserve their personal collections of books, photographs, documents, computer files, and audio/visual materials"

University Products
Archival Glossary

"This glossary is intended to help you make an informed choice of which materials you should use for the preservation of books, papers, photographs and other artifacts in your collection. Please note that this glossary is written in non-technical terms in order to help those lacking collections care training to meet the responsibilities required of them."

How-To Tips
Book Repair: Hinge Tightening I
Book Repair: Hinge Tightening II
Instructions for Creating Display Forms
Book Repair: Tipping-In Loose Pages
Buffered vs. Unbuffered
Mount Making using Vivak Polyester Sheets
Conservation Framing
Preventing Insect Infestation
Corrugated Book Mounts
Separating Photographs that Stick Together
Display and Storage of Books
Temperature and Humidity

Media Matters
Jim Lindner
Confessions of a Videotape Restorer or How come these tapes all need to be cleaned differently?
Digitization Reconsidered
How to Care for Your Originals
Magnetic Tape Deterioration: Tidal Wave at Our Shores
The Proper Care and Feeding of Videotape
Videotape Restoration--Where Do I Start?

Your Black Mold Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mold
"Dedicated to educating home and building owners about a dangerous genus of mold, referred to in the scientific community as 'Stachybotrys'", offers dozens of succinct articles covering the causes, prevention, and health issues pertainiing to black mold (as well as coverage of inspection and remediation

Robert Zimmerman
Technology to Watch: Shelf Lives and Videotape, Fortune, October 18, 1993.

Finding a conservator

How to Choose a Conservator
Find a Conservator
(See also AIC section below)

Canadian Association of Professional Conservators (CAPC)
Contents include

Canadian Conservation Institute
Preserving my Heritage

Conservation Register (Icon)
Archaeological materials
Architectural ironwork
Art on paper
Gofal a chadwraeth llyfrau a Beiblau
Carpets and rugs
Carved stone
Ceramic and Glass
Costume and textiles
Gofal a chadwraeth gwisgoedd a thecstilau (Care and conservation of costumes and textiles)
Decorative schemes and surfaces
Documents and archives
Gofal achadwraeth dogfennau ac archifau (Care and conservation of archives and documents)
Ethnographic objects
Fashion accessories
Frames and gilding
Oil paintings
Photographic materials
Gofal a chadwraeth deunyddiau ffotograffig
Plastic materials
Prints, drawings and watercolours
Silver and plate
Stained glass
Care and preservation of removable digital and electronic media
Guidelines for conservation mounting and framing of works of art on paper

Reference Services

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Preservation Reference Service

"NEDCC's Field Service staff is available to answer preservation questions by phone, fax, or email. This service is available for institutions or individuals with paper-based collections, and it is provided at no charge to the inquirer thanks to a grant to NEDCC from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).... Information is provided on all aspects of paper preservation and conservation. Answers to some frequently asked questions are available at this site.

"NEDCC has also produced a variety of short technical leaflets that address many common preservation topics. Single copies are available from the Field Service staff. Many of these leaflets have been collected into an online publication entitled Preservation of Library and Archival Materials: A Manual, 3rd ed. and can be downloaded from our website..."

Among the topics covered in the Frequently Asked Questions section are

  • How can I remove the musty smell from old books?
  • Our basement flooded and the pages of my high school yearbook are stuck together - what can I do?
  • How should I store my family photographs and papers?
  • How long do laser-printed documents last?
  • I opened one of my books and saw a tiny bug crawling in it - what should I do?
  • We have some old wooden bookcases in the library - how can we treat them to make them safe for our historical collections?
  • I have some old leather books whose bindings are dried and cracked - should I put leather dressing on them?

Disaster Assistance

"As part of its Field Service program, NEDCC offers an emergency assistance program for institutions and individuals with damaged paper-based collections. NEDCC staff members are available 24 hours a day to provide telephone advice if a disaster occurs. This service is provided at no charge thanks to a grant to NEDCC from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It does not normally include on-site assistance.

"Information provided includes advice on drying wet collections and dealing with damage from fire, pests, or mold. Referrals to commercial disaster recovery service providers experienced with library and archives collections can also be provided."

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Timestamp: Tuesday, 24-Feb-2015 09:51:32 PST
Retrieved: Monday, 31-Aug-2015 10:49:42 GMT