Collections Maintenance and Care

The establishment of standards for collections maintenance and care is tantamount to an effective policy. Without common standards, the collections entrusted to our institutions can be irrevocably harmed and of no use to our patrons and visitors. In this module, you will learn what things to consider as you create your standards. We also discuss how some objects need to be cared for, not only physically, but with cultural sensitivity.  

Collections Maintenance and Care from the Library/Archives Point-of-View webinar is presented by Dean DeBolt, University Librarian, Special Collections and West Florida Archives, John C. Pace Library, University of West Florida. 
The Museum Point-of-View is presented by Kate Macuen, Collections Manager, Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

Webinar Length: 39 min. 19 sec.
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Discussion Question: Besides establishing levels of appropriate maintenance and care for the objects in your collections, it is also important to state clearly WHO will be responsible for WHAT. Do you assign responsibilities to volunteers? Why or why not? Should training be required for those who are assigned collections responsibilities? What are the pros and cons of dividing responsibilities, or having one person responsible for everything? Consider storage, handling, environmental issues, maintenance, and care. Anything else?

Worksheet for Collections Maintenance and Care—Agents of Deterioration: A separate worksheet has been developed for this activity.
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Boynton Beach City Library Archives - Collections Maintenance Statement (.pdf)

Museum of Science & History of Jacksonville (MOSH) - Living Collections Care (.pdf)

Museum of Science & History of Jacksonville (MOSH) - Non-Living Collections Care (.pdf)

Stranahan House - Collections Care (.pdf)
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Online Resources
Indiana Historical Society, Deteriora and the Agents of Destruction

The National Archives (United Kingdom), Caring for Archives

National Park Service (NPS), Museum Handbook, Part 1: Museum Collections, Chapter 4: Museum Collections Environment

National Park Service (NPS), Museum Handbook, Part 1: Museum Collections, Chapter 5: Biological Infestations

National Park Service Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Resources for Museums

Speaker Biography
Dean DeBolt is the University Archivist and Librarian at the University Archives and West Florida History Center, University of West Florida. There he is responsible for a sizeable collection that includes rare books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and paintings. Dean is also Adjunct Professor in the History Department where he teaches Archives Administration and Management. He holds a MA in Library Science from University of Illinois, and a MA in History from Sangamon State University. He also received an Archives Certificate from Ohio Historical Society.

Originally from Colorado, Kate Macuen has worked in various museums throughout her home state, including the Denver Art Museum. Ms. Macuen’s current position as Collections Manager for the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office brought her to South Florida in 2009. Kate holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Colorado and a MA in Museum Science with a focus in Collections Management from Texas Tech University.


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