Artifact Labeling 101

The Bennington Museum hosted this years annual meeting of the Vermont League of Historical Societies and Museums presented by the Vermont Historical Society. It was a great meeting that centered around the theme of collaborations, something we find to be at the heart of the Collections Care and Conservation Alliance. When a conservator of paper, paintings and objects get together, the greatest amount of information on diverse materials merge to produce a body of knowledge presented at this workshop on Artifact Labeling 101.

We had great participation and we look forward to providing this workshop again in the future. Below is the slide presentation given and a worksheet can be found to the right with the do’s and don’ts of labeling.

Please check back often as we are constantly updating information to provide you with the best advice.

Collections Care 101- Adirondack History Center Workshop

On September 17, 2010 the Collections Care and Conservation Alliance presented a full day workshop at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall on Collections Care 101. This workshop was hosted by  the Adirondack History Center and sponsored through the IMLS Heritage Centers Sustainability Program.

Topics ranged from Collections Management Policies, Accessioning & De-Accessioning, Digital Archiving, Storage and Handling, Labeling of Artifacts, Housekeeping, Pest Management, and an introduction to Art Conservation.

Over 40 participants attended from a full range of collecting institutions and levels of experience. We have included the slideshow presentation presented that day as well as updating the handouts and other documents we feel are important basics to good collections care.

Emergency Preparedness!

An ounce of preparation…

I am pretty convinced that if you prepare for the worst, it probably won’t happen. And if it does happen, having a plan will simply make your life easier.

So make your disaster response plan!

Two very useful links, with examples of plans and information on wet salvage recovery are:

The Minnesota Historical Society

The Nebraska State Historical Society

Another very useful link that can help you to create a very basic outline is:

The Council of State Archivists Pocke Response Plan (PReP)

and of course, there is the good ol’


which is available both in a lite and full version.

There are many many many many more resources on the web, but sometimes it’s just nice to have somewhere to start.

The 2008 Connecting to Collections survey, supported by a grant from IMLS, found that only 13% of respondents had an up to date emergency plan, and that assistance with emergency planning was a priority for 72% of the respondents.

History Expo

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at History Expo!

Emily, Laura and Carolyn at the History Expo 2010

If  you liked Carolyn’s crazy quilt, there are more to be seen this summer at the Shelburne Museum’s exhibit  Embellishments: The Art of the Crazy Quilt.  You can see pictures of the conservation work on their Flickr page. In the picture is one of the members of the Isle La Motte Historical Society who also stopped by to chat with us today.

What is ‘collections care?’

Collections care is often defined as the preventive care activities undertaken to improve the long-term preservation of cultural property.
This includes activities such as rehousing and creating proper storage environments as well as establishing better intellectual control the improvement of
collections databases and inventories. Collections care also encompasses the development of policies and guidelines for storing, handling and exhibiting
items in the collection.

The Collections Care and Conservation Alliance

The Collections Care and Conservation Alliance was founded by  a group of conservators in Vermont and Upstate New York on the belief that those who care for the region’s cultural collections should unite to strengthen the ability of its members to protect and increase accessibility to the region’s cultural resources through education, collaboration, and advocacy. C3A aspires to become a consortium of region-wide museums, libraries, historical societies, archives, and conservation and preservation professionals. Our membership will include museums, historical societies, libraries, archives, colleges and universities, private schools and other organizations with special collections, town clerks offices, art galleries, historic sites, community art centers, other non-profits organizations, conservators, artists, and preservation professionals. Members will be located in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Maine. Membership is open to both organizations and individuals. Students interested in the conservation and preservation of cultural heritage are encouraged to
join at a discounted membership rate.