Inside a blue block, white text reads AASLH Online Course Caring for Museum Collections. Behind the blue block is a shelf with assorted small toys.

Online Course: Caring for Museum Collections

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

This eight week course will deal with the physical care and preservation of your museum collections. This practical course will cover how collections age and deteriorate, handling collections, storage requirements, environmental considerations, housekeeping, and risk management.

Each week of this course contains a narrative discussion of a topic in the form of Lessons. The lessons and web-based readings, combined with your professional experiences, will provide you with a grounding in the week’s topic.


COURSE DATES: January 27 - March 22, 2020

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 - January 19, 2020; 30 participant limit


Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course 

LENGTH: 8 weeks 

PARTICIPATION: Weekly readings and exercises; Weekly forum discussions; Four real-time online chats - schedule to be determined by the instructor at the start of the course - if you are unable to attend a chat you can read the transcript and then post your thoughts/questions in the General Forum; Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern. There are no required texts for this course. All other materials will be provided.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Participant Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of physical care and preservation of museum collections including the following:

  • Know the major causes of deterioration for museum objects and how to use that information to enhance long-term preservation;
  • Know how to handle objects in the safest way;
  • Know how to examine and document the condition of objects in your collections;
  • Know how to display your collections in a way that prolongs their life;
  • Know how to store and house your collections in the way that best preserves them;
  • Understand the importance of environmental control for the preservation of your collections;
  • Know the best ways to clean your museum; and
  • Know how to perform a risk assessment of your museum and use it to write a disaster plan.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with conservation of collections. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.


Rebecca Elder is an experienced cultural heritage preservation consultant who helps clients find practical and achievable solutions to care for their history collections. She collaborates with libraries, museums, archives, municipalities and families to tailor preservation plans to their resources and timelines.

In 2014, Rebecca founded Rebecca Elder Cultural Heritage Preservation to provide preservation advice to clients holding history collections. Rebecca has also worked at Amigos Library Services, the Harvard University Libraries and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Rebecca received her MSIS and a Certificate of Advanced Studies for Conservation of Library and Archival Materials from the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, and now is adjunct faculty at the iSchool, teaching Preservation Management and Treatment Techniques for Bound Materials.  She also serves as coordinator for the National Heritage Responders, a team of volunteer conservators and allied professionals who respond to disasters.

Rebecca is a Professional Associate member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. She also engages in professional service with the American Institute for Conservation, the Society of American Archivists, the Society of Southwest Archivists, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

Rebecca lives in Austin, TX with her four cats: Frankie, Princess Snowball, Thingy and Tucker the Most Interesting Cat In The World (@heytuckercat on Instagram). She knits obsessively, collects smashed pennies, and isn’t afraid to admit that she loves 1970s white polyester jumpsuit Elvis.  Looking to connect? Head to She’ll be glad you did.

Webinar: Introduction to Audio, Visual & Film Media and Their Care

Join us for a lively overview of the many types of media & materials that comprise audiovisual media and movie film. The information will be presented in an historical context to give the participants an ability to more accurately identify these types of artifacts that may be in their collections.

How do we care for all these different media? Care & storage practices will be presented along with the various media. A glossary and handouts will help participants to best care for any media & materials in their own space.


DATE: December 5, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 AASLH Members / $65 Nonmembers

We will record this event. Access the Recorded Webinar in the AASLH Resource Center after the event has passed. Registrants of this event receive complimentary access to the recording in their Dashboard. 

Closed captioning is provided for this event.




Kim Du Boise is President and Sr. Conservator of PhotoArts Imaging Professionals, LLC in Hattiesburg, MS. Ms. Du Boise has more than four decades’ experience with photographic materials as a photographer, college instructor, printmaker & conservator. Since 2001, Kim and her staff have served clients in more than 35 states and Canada. Projects include conservation treatments, preservation projects, collections assessments, traditional & digital archiving of mixed collections, and the remediation of fire, smoke, water & storm-damaged materials.

She is a Professional Associate of the AIC, active in the MS Gulf Coast Alliance for Response, an approved assessor for the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program, and serves as an expert on the Connecting to Collections Care forum; all programs of the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC). Ms. Du Boise has served as a collections assessor for museum archives in photographic, audio & visual materials, digital media, carriers & assets for NEH grantees. She is a consultant for small to large museums, archives, and university-based special collections. Kim is an instructor for and gives workshops on photographic and audio-visual materials & collections care at client locations.

Her firm is unique in the southeast U.S. for its mission and services. She and her partner provide conservation, digitization, and restoration for photographic materials, films – negative & positive, individual stills from 35mm up to 11x14, and movies from 8 & 16 mm, sound & silent, B&W to color, negative or positive. Her partner is a member of the AIC Electronic Media Group with specialties in audio materials – records to modern audio discs, movie films to VHS, BETA, and ¾” U-Matic video tapes to digital materials. Ms. Du Boise has experience in A-V media collection assessment and remediation of mold and organic materials on audio & visual tapes/films.

Kim is a member of the Photographic Materials Group, the Conservators in Private Practice, the Electronic Media Group, the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network, and a contributor to the AIC Wiki.