Online Course: Collections Management

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.


DATES: July 15 - September 8, 2019

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

Registration limited to 30 people



Full Online Course Description:

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Develop a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Develop of identify a collection of objects
  • Develop a standardized set of registration records and forms including inventory, catalog, accession, and loans
  • Learn about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discuss issues related to collections strategies, mission, purpose, and scope of collections
  • Develop a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections

Who Should Attend:

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 collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.

Course Materials

Required text: John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2006 (ISBN 10:1-933253-03-07). This text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. Please order from the book seller of your choice.

Optional Resource: Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small MuseumFourth Edition, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2008 (Paperback ISBN 978-0-7591-1131-8).


Dr. Erin Richardson facilitates museums’ and cultural organizations’ capacity for mission delivery, particularly relating to art and artifact collections. With more than twenty years experience working with museum communities at Historic Cherry Hill, Fenimore Art Museum, and the Farmers’ Museum, she started a consulting firm in 2018 to assist museums in solving pressing long-term collection problems so that they may effectively serve their communities. Richardson holds a BA in American Studies from the SUNY Geneseo, a MA in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a PhD in Leadership and Policy from Niagara University.

Small Museum Pro!:

Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Five Things to Know about Light in Your Museum Space

This post is brought to you by our Field Services Alliance Affinity Community.

A dimly lit room in a museum with large display cases holding elaborate historical opera costumes.

By Todd S. Mahon, State History Services Manager, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN

Caring for and preserving collections is among the most mission-critical tasks a history organization is charged with. Creating a physical environment that ensures that those collections are preserved for future generations is often the most cost-effective way to address the collection as a whole. In short, it’s cheaper to make sure the collection doesn’t need to be treated for damage than it is to conduct conservation work after the damage is done.

Light exposure is among the most pervasive conservation issues that a collection will face. Most of us are aware that light causes damage, but there are still some misconceptions out there about how collections interact with light and how to protect them from its harmful effects.

Filters only do half the job.

It’s true that there are commercially-produced filters that can be applied to windows and light fixtures, but these filters only protect against the ultraviolet (UV) light on the spectrum. Visible light also causes damage and can only be controlled by the brightness of the light. In other words, zero visible light means total darkness. So, collections stored in a light-proof box are safe from visible light as they are in total darkness, but objects on exhibit, even in dim light conditions, are exposed to visible light.

Light damage is cumulative.

Light damage happens over an extended amount of time. This is apparent from looking at a photograph displayed over time and seeing how it fades. To help slow the accumulated effect, you must manage the exposure in two ways: reducing the intensity (or brightness) of the visible light, and reducing the amount of time it is exposed to that light. Materials that have a high sensitivity to visible light should only be exposed to a maximum of 50,000 lux hours/year. So, if the lights are at a level of 75 lux, then the object can be expected to absorb that light level for 667 hours in a year.

Light damage is permanent.

Light damage cannot be reversed by conservation treatment. Once it's done, it's done.

There are low-cost ways to better understand your light levels.

The upper images show how inexpensive UV detecting beads can identify the presence of UV light by changing colors. The bottom images are a comparison of the Visible Light readings of a smartphone (left) and an Elsec Environmental Monitor. The smartphone is off by about ten percent.

Accurate equipment to measure UV light (measured in microwatts per lumen) and visible light (measured in lux or footcandles) can cost a few thousand dollars, but there are lower cost (although less effective) ways to gain a broad understanding of light levels. For visible light, lower cost light meters designed for photography provide fairly accurate readings of visible light, but don’t measure for UV. Most of us carry a device that measures visible light in our pockets. Smartphones have hardware that measures visible light so it knows when the the phone is put to our ear and prevents our cheeks from pressing buttons on the touch-screen. There are several apps out there that interact with the smartphone's hardware to display the light readings. To be clear, a smartphone is not a replacement for a light meter, but it can be a useful tool for explaining the need for light management.

There are also commercial products available that detect UV light and change colors when it is present. Search on Amazon for “Ultraviolet Detecting Beads.” These beads do not tell the user how much UV is present, but nearly any level of UV should be filtered out, so knowing that it is present at all is important.

There are simple ways to display items that reduce overall exposure to light damage.

  • Rotate exhibits more frequently.
  • Use window treatments and shades on windows in gallery spaces.
  • Install occupancy sensors (motion detectors) in galleries that turn off the lights automatically.
  • Consider placing copies on exhibit instead of originals, especially for photographs and documents.

Here are some further resources to learn more about protecting your collections from light damage.

Book Review: Participatory Heritage

This review originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of History News.

Participatory Heritage
By Henriette Roued-Cunliffe and Andrea Copeland (eds.)
(London: Facet Publishing, 2017)
Reviewed by Megan DiRienzo

Participatory. Engagement. Interactive. Relevant. Since the publication of Nina Simon’s 2010 game-changing title, The Participatory Museum, these words—especially “participatory”—have become common museum jargon. And like all jargon, the term is often peppered throughout discussions like glitter, adding seductive sparkle but little substance. But Henriette Roued-Cunliffe and Andrea Copeland use the term with heavy weight in their latest publication, Participatory Heritage. This book offers a series of stalwart case studies exploring how the boundaries of foundational heritage work—preserving, archiving, and sharing information—can flex and stretch when the professionalized heritage sector connects with communities that have been preserving their own heritages through genuine participation.

Participatory heritage communities include local volunteer-run archives, online forums hosted by self-taught historians, Wikipedia writers, artisans, and many others who participate in heritage work outside professionally sanctioned institutions like state archives, accredited museums, and official historic sites. The editors remind us that non-professionalized communities of practice, most often organized by unpaid stakeholders without formal training, lack the resources to preserve collections and knowledge in permanent, sustainable ways.

But instead of lamenting the loss of valuable historical documents and priceless objects at the hands of well-meaning but uninformed community members, this collection of case studies focuses on what the professionalized heritage sector can learn from informal communities of practice.

For example, JoyEllen Freeman’s chapter challenges readers to imagine an archive as an active aspect of community life, existing in the open for easy access rather than stowed away in perfectly conditioned storage areas. She reveals less than ideal archival conditions and processes (according to professional standards) at the Flat Rock Archives in Georgia, but then illuminates how implementing archival best practices could threaten the very community participation that saved this important African-American site from complete erasure. The archival materials at Flat Rock (documents, records, etc.) are displayed with artifacts and other materials in a mid-nineteenth-century farmhouse with no rhyme or reason, according to archival principles. And although the Flat Rock Archives organization may seem haphazard to professionals, to the archives’ most immediate users—community members—the house is a dynamic space for programming and community participation that depends on easy access to the archival materials as currently staged. Freeman then describes how she first focused on materials that were not displayed and is now working to organize a mass preservation and processing day that will allow her and volunteers to document materials without disturbing public use.

The Flat Rock Archives Museum in Lithonia, Georgia.

In a later chapter, Noah Lenstra offers a cautionary tale for organizations that seek to offer marginalized communities access to archival resources like databases, training, or willing history students hungry for hands-on archival experience. His chapter focuses on three partnerships between marginalized communities and large universities. Each vignette discusses various levels of autonomy for community members with various failings and successes.

The failures, he argues, happen when well-funded institutions swoop in with “the right answers,” further alienating the very communities they wish to reach by stripping them of their autonomy and ignoring their true needs.

His final example—a statewide workshop and handbook developed by the University of Illinois—is presented as a success because the university offered resources that community leaders could choose based on their needs. In the end, this chapter beckons large, powerful institutions to foster leadership in marginalized communities of practice rather than blindly insisting that the professionals know best.

Participatory Heritage is a challenging read because it asks professionalized cultural workers to loosen their grip on archival best practices in order to favor community needs and wants. However, this doesn’t mean professionalized standards should be thrown to the wind. Instead, the editors implore us to imagine what new best practices could look like when traditional heritage work links with communities who have figured out how to preserve their stories on their own terms.

Whether you are a student or a seasoned professional, this work will open a hearty discussion about how professional standards can evolve to preserve a broader swath of human history. Participatory Heritage makes it clear that the key to that evolution is held by the communities of practice that have struggled and thrived outside the professionalized world of heritage work.

Megan DiRienzo is an Interpretive Planner at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She collaborates with evaluators, designers, curators, community members, and various experts across disciplines to create relevant and personally meaningful experiences with art for museum visitors. She can be reached at

Are you interested in contributing reviews to History News? Apply here.

Book Review: Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists

This review originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of History News.

Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists
By Anthony Cocciolo
(Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2017)
Reviewed by John Morton

In Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists, author Anthony Cocciolo brings ample insights from work both “in the trenches” as an archivist and also as an educator to bear on challenges that any archives is bound to face sooner or later. The result is the book on audiovisual archiving for those who don’t have the time to read a book on audiovisual archiving. Readers can rest assured that not only does Cocciolo -- who teaches at the Pratt Institute School of Information -- know his subject, he knows how to teach it, too.

Right from the outset, Cocciolo addresses Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists to those with a background in traditional, i.e. paper, collections who may stumble upon audiovisual artifacts in the midst of a larger collection. From this starting point, the book serves as an expanded workflow toward digital reformatting and preservation. Theoretical considerations, such as the appraisal process for a media artifact or different options for eventual digital exhibition online, account for the first half of the book, while the second half profiles the audiovisual carriers an archivist is likely to encounter and offers basic guidance for their conservation and preservation.

The book’s greatest accomplishment is simply to make this kind of archiving seem possible, even if it’s a first-time endeavor under trying circumstances.

Cocciolo’s recurring ultimate recommendation adheres to the accepted best practice in the field: create high-quality digital transfers of collection items, secure the master files in a trusted digital repository, create compressed access copies for day-to-day reference, and conserve the original carriers. At the same time, Cocciolo also concedes that these standards will be out of reach for many small and medium-sized collections, and allows that fleets of budget hard drives may stand in for servers, for example, or that the original artifact may have to serve as the access copy in some cases. He also matter-of-factly acknowledges the pitfalls posed by issues such as copyright compliance, terms of use for online streaming platforms, and the risk of proprietary software being put out to pasture and leaving archivists in the lurch. When broaching complex topics that merit their own dedicated manuals, Cocciolo deftly supplies a baseline sketch of the issue but demurs from leading his readers down any rabbit trails.

Cocciolo’s trim volume benefits from lucid chapter and subject divisions, wonderfully functional illustrations, and down-to-earth language. The book is modular enough that individual chapters serve for functional stand-alone reference, but also lends itself to an easy and effective read-through. In addition to stewards of paper collections, veteran audiovisual archivists may use the book to reorient to the bigger picture if they have spent some time in the weeds or if they could use an update to state of the art practice. The scope and tone of the book are also suitable for students. For all these reasons, Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists is certain to enjoy frequent use at organizations or libraries that pick up a copy.

John Morton is the Audio-Visual Archivist Assistant for the Knox County Public Library System in Knoxville, TN. He holds an M.A. from the University of Rochester and certification from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation in Rochester, NY. John has worked with libraries and archival collections for five years. He can be reached at

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Nomenclature: Now Available Online!

By Heather Dunn, Canadian Heritage Information Network

Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging is a standard for classifying and naming objects in cultural collections.  For over 40 years, the print version has been used by museums and heritage organizations.  AASLH's Nomenclature Task Force, the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) and Parks Canada are therefore pleased to announce a new bilingual, illustrated online version.

The Nomenclature website is the most up-to-date version of the Nomenclature standard and includes:

  • the entire Nomenclature 4.0, as published in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield;
  • a complete French version, with terms provided by Parks Canada and CHIN;
  • terminology, definitions and illustrations from a complementary standard, the Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects;
  • a bibliography to help museums find additional resources to help with cataloging specific types of objects;
  • guidelines and tips on how to use the Nomenclature system.

The Nomenclature Task Force, which includes representatives from both Canada and the USA, will regularly update the harmonized online standard in both English and French, in consultation with museums that use it.  Users will soon be able to purchase an electronic download of the new Nomenclature data from Rowman & Littlefield. In 2020, CHIN plans to release the Nomenclature content as linked open data under an Open Data Commons license, which means that it will be free to download and use at that time.

The new Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging website provides North American museums housing history or ethnology collections with a single, bilingual, illustrated standard. We invite you to consult the updated user guide, search for terms or browse through the classification hierarchy. Consult Nomenclature at or submit new terms for inclusion in the standard on the Nomenclature Affinity Community page.

Please contact Paul Bourcier ( at the AASLH Nomenclature Task Force, Heather Dunn ( or Madeleine Lafaille ( at CHIN, or Jean-Luc Vincent ( at Parks Canada for more information.

Book Review: Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Practical Guide for Museums

This review originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of History News.

Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Practical Guide for Museums
By Angela Kipp
(Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)
Reviewed by Christina Bulow

In her book Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Practical Guide for Museums, Angela Kipp outlines the best approaches to tackle the daunting task of identifying the needs of and caring for small, unmanaged collections. Since not all museum professionals work with previously documented and organized collections, her book is meant to act as guide for those who find themselves responsible for sorting, planning, and caring for collections that have seen little to no professional museum care.

In her first chapter, aptly titled "Congratulations, It’s Your Mess Now," Kipp instructs the reader on how to first develop a new mindset not taught in standard courses on collections management or exhibited in well-managed collections. These "counterintuitive" mindsets are: "1. Think of the whole collection, not single objects, 2. You are a collections manager, now think like a project manager, and 3. See the big picture, work in small steps" (1).  Kipp states that by focusing on the collection as a whole rather than on individual objects, you will better be able to face your inherited mess.

Chapters two through five describe how to approach unmanaged collections, starting with the initial walkthrough to planning, organizing, and ultimately, implementation and documentation. Each chapter lists a "logical exit." Kipp defines these as natural stopping points throughout the process that will allow you or your "future self" to pick up where you stopped. This helps to break up an overwhelming situation into smaller, more manageable goals.

The remaining chapters discuss useful strategies utilizing local resources, including people inside and outside your institution. Chapter six explores how to create and foster human relationships to find useful resources, while chapter seven reviews documentation strategies. Chapter eight tackles storage issues from the perspective of long-term planning based on your objects, resources, and available space. Finally, Chapter nine outlines creative fundraising and support for your institution.

Each chapter features real world examples that illustrate successes from other institutions, including a "grandmother fix" of painting windows in a storage space to reduce light levels and establishing a numbering system for storage spaces to replace confusing common names. The ethos of this book is that you may make mistakes, but the goal is to learn from those mistakes and continue with your mission to improve the collections. Finally, the last chapter includes success stories from seven institutions, describing their strategies and processes for organizing unmanaged collections.

Although the methods outlined in this book do not follow strict best practice of museum studies courses and literature, it gives the readers the tools to accomplish varying levels of good practice concerning collections care, documentation, and collections planning. Kipp lets the reader know that it is okay to make a series of small improvements when you do not have the time, money, resources, or staff to completely overhaul your collection to meet all best practice standards. This book not only serves as a useful guide on how to approach unmanaged collections, but it also leaves the reader with a sense that they are not alone in their situations. Every collection has room for improvement, and any improvement, no matter how small, can be considered a success.

Christina Bulow has been the Assistant Curator at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor for three years. She completed her MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and has worked as a volunteer and contractor in small and medium sized museums. She can be reached at

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AASLH Announces Collections Management Software Task Force

By Julie Kemper, Kentucky Historical Society

We all depend on our collections management software (CMS), but some days it just won’t do what we want it to. Right? It can be frustrating and we wonder if our institution is using the best software for our needs. The task of evaluating the program we use and comparing it to the many options available can be difficult. Small museums that are considering packaged CMS for the first time can find it overwhelming.

A recent national study, Museum Technology Landscape 2018: Discovery and Findings, conducted by Balboa Park Online Collective created for LYRASIS, looked at the relationship between museums, CMS, and CMS vendors. “It may or may not come as a surprise that approximately half of respondents would like to replace their current CMS, but perceived the pain of migration to be greater than the pain or limitations of their current system.” remarked Nik Honeysett, a Balboa Park Online Collective staff member.

AASLH has created a task force to aid history institutions—even those with little or no technology support—in navigating the data and process of acquiring a CMS. Task force members include history and technology professionals with a wide variety of experience. Joining the group are Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) staff members.  CHIN was already collecting information on CMS, and have made the Collections Management Software and Criteria Checklist and Request for Proposals for a Collections Management System available on the CHIN website. CHIN is now creating a detailed list of CMS vendor profiles, which it plans to release in late 2018. This detailed document includes information gathered through surveying a large number of CMS vendors, follow up interviews, and extensive research.

The AASLH CMS task force project outcomes will include an AASLH Technical Leaflet providing guidelines and assistance, a “how-to” for creating a Request for Proposal (RFP), and CMS vendor list.  The CHIN CMS research and also a CMS list from the ICOM International Committee for Documentation’s Encyclopaedia of Museum Practice will provide a base for the vendor list. The AASLH resource will layer details for easy use by staff with a variety of technical knowledge. It will also include information about topics museums most often ask about, including data entry features, price, system requirements, training availability, security, and reporting.

The AASLH Technical Leaflet will be published in 2019.  It will be useful for any institution, but is aimed at small and mid-sized museum with few or no technology specialists on staff. The leaflet will:

  • explain why it is important to have the right CMS for your institution
  • where to find detailed information about various companies offering CMS
  • how to identify the most important needs for you institution
  • how to decide if you need off-the-shelf, custom made, or something in between
  • will help users navigate technical language

The AASLH CMS task force, in cooperation with CHIN, are working to make the process of choosing and supporting a CMS easier. The project will help museums and historic organizations all over North America.

At the upcoming AASLH Annual Meeting, members of the CMS task force will guide a conversation on the topic, “Making New Collections Management Software Systems Easier,” to discuss challenges to finding a new CMS system and hear about some new tools to make it easier. Our hope is to gather more information to ensure we meet the needs of museums and history organizations in navigating the difficult task of choosing a collections management system. We hope to see you at the Conversations Area on September 28 from 11:45 - 12:30 pm!

Collections Management: Dispatches from the Trenches

By Nik Honeysett, CEO, Balboa Park Online Collaborative

Beginning in November 2017, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) contracted with LYRASIS to embark on a national study of the collections management technology landscape. The study, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aimed to gather insight into the current state of collections management by looking at supporting technologies, technology selection, and implementation, maintenance, budgeting, digitization, cataloguing, and strategic requirements and goals, through a combination of surveys and interviews. The results provide a much-needed peek into this core activity of museology, and are relevant to all collections-based institutions.

The survey portion of the study comprised seventy questions, as well as half-hour phone interviews with respondents who volunteered to provide deeper analysis. In total, the study received 232 responses for seventy-nine fully completed surveys (153 partials), and thirty interviews. Survey respondents were largely based in the United States, but some international respondents provided valuable context as well. In terms of respondents, the study represents a valid cross-section of museums, including art, history, and historic houses/sites/societies. One-third of respondents were small museums (AAM's definition of a budget under $500,000), and 9% had a budget under $100,000. Larger institutions were also represented, with one-fourth of respondents having a budget over $25 million, and 6.5% employing over a thousand staff. 

The study’s working hypothesis was that while the scope and requirements for the management and access of collections information has changed significantly over the last two decades, and CMS products have evolved, the basic model has remained unchanged. A CMS is an internal information management system based on an object-centric data model, irrespective of the emergence of online modules to provide public access.

There were a number of broad themes and challenges that emerged from the study. Following on from our working hypothesis, respondents largely confirmed that their expectations have changed with regard to what is needed and required of a CMS: it must be an information hub that can elegantly integrate with other systems (how long have we been talking about inter-operability for digital heritage?); provide a much richer mechanism for connections between objects and artists, etc., to promote serendipitous discovery; and a host of other functional requirements under the banner of "our CMS needs to be more than a CMS; it needs to be a tool."

"As users, we bring our broader tech expectations to our CMS. The flexibility of systems to expand and meet evolving user needs continues to be paramount. The better our vendors can keep pace with the overall dynamic tech environment, the better for us."

It may or may not come as a surprise that approximately half of respondents would like to replace their current CMS, but perceived the pain of migration to be greater than the pain or limitations of their current system. A significant number of respondents expressed "vendor frustration" and considered themselves to be in somewhat of a hostage situation: they would like greater integration capabilities (which the vendors were reluctant to support), perceiving that it made it easier for institutions to migrate their CMS. This highlights a critical irony from the study, that failure to provide the key function of an open import/export route, or better still, a comprehensive API, is the key driver for an institution to want to migrate to another system.

"Overall institutional budget and leadership stability issues impact all aspects of our operations and interfere with thoughtful CMS planning."

Another challenge to contemplating a system switch was the inability to successfully make the case to leadership. There were a number of reference points that indicated a disconnect between collections management strategy and the resources and budget available to achieve it. These disconnects were seen in a number of aspects, particularly digitization goals and the current rate of digitization, and the percentage of catalogued objects and the rate of cataloguing. Mapping collection sizes and acquisition rates against cataloguing and digitizing rates indicates that the promise of "digital" providing comprehensive virtual access to our collections will not be kept, at least not during this century.

As a recovering technologist, some of the most eye-opening findings were revealed from the CMS selection questions. Only one quarter of respondents referenced any form of formal process to select their CMS, instead relying on peer recommendation ("so-and-so museum uses so-and-so CMS and they are just like us, so we picked that"), prior familiarity ("the new collections manager used to use so-and-so CMS, so we picked that"), or other informal methods. This may be okay up to a point because part of a formal process would be to review other institutions, but it's not great from the standpoint of the institution reviewing the functionality of different systems and how they are being used most effectively.

Two problems are evident with this lack of formality when combined with the other findings. The study revealed that 50% of staff involved in the initial CMS selection process were no longer with the institution, so the reason(s) for selecting that particular CMS has likely left the building. Additionally, a formal software selection process should be a time to review and hone processes and workflows, and make a selection based on improving or streamlining those processes. Software selection should match the requirements of the institution, not the individual, and skeuomorphism (the desire or willingness to continue to do the same thing but with a new system) is rife. Too often, institutions neglect to use the opportunity of a new system to thoroughly review and improve their workflows to maximize their efficiency and productivity with the new tool.

This study represents an opportunity for collection-based institutions and CMS vendors to reflect on the emerging practices and strategy of this core activity, and strive to better address these emerging requirements. More flexible, configurable, and scalable systems that will disrupt the U.S. market as the migration barriers diminish are on the horizon. The full public report can been found on the LYRASIS website. As producers of the open source collections management system CollectionSpace, the LYRASIS staff are working hard to address the study’s key findings.


Our CMS working group is conducting more research into system options and meeting the needs of today's museums and historic sites, so stay tuned for updates. For more info on evaluating collections management systems, visit the AASLH Conversations area at the Kansas City meeting on September 28 from 11:45 - 12:30 pm!

Webinar: Caring for Paper Collections

This webinar will give an introduction to best practices in caring for any paper-based collection. Topics covered will include: handling guidelines, assessing storage materials and special needs items, prioritizing for treatment, and understanding preservation and conservation terminology. This program is appropriate for those looking to develop new skills, as well as for individuals wanting to increase their knowledge about best practices in the care of paper-based collections.



Date: December 12, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact for more information.


About the Instructor:

As Preservation Specialist, Samantha Forsko works with institutions and their collections. She conducts on-site preservation needs and risk assessments and assists with preservation planning. She also develops and presents educational programs and provides technical information to libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions.    

Before joining the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Samantha worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a collections manager. She has also worked as a conservation technician for the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Cascadia Art Conservation Center, both in Portland, Oregon. Samantha received her MA in Arts Management with a focus on Archival and Museum Studies from Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California.


Webinar: Caring for Photograph Collections

Photographic media are sensitive materials that require special housing to ensure their longevity. This webinar will examine suitable housing supplies, including paper, plastics, interleaving papers, boxes, and more. Environmental parameters for storage, proper labeling techniques, and safe handling of photographs will also be discussed.



Date: December 5, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact for more information.


About the Instructor:

Rachel Wetzel received a Bachelors of Arts in Art History & Sculpture from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters of Arts degree with a certificate in Art Conservation in 2005 from the State University of New York, Buffalo State College. She holds a certificate for the completion of the Advance Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at the George Eastman House.

Prior to joining the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, she completed internships at the George Eastman House and the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology, both in Rochester NY, Heugh-Edmonson Conservation, LLC, at the private conservation studio of Paul Messier and at the Library of Congress.