The aim of this resource list is to provide heritage staff who have to work in dangerous situations, with electronic information that might assist them in safeguarding their vulnerable heritage. The resources are presented in English but often other languages can be chosen on the website. Please inform us if any hyperlinks are broken, you would help us and others a lot.
Note that the Resources will be updated from time to time. To follow the changes we suggest you subscribe to RSS Feed.
- A methodology for reorganizing museum storage developed by ICCROM and UNESCO by Simon Lambert. In CeroArt #6 2011.
However, meanwhile ICCROM/UNESCO developed the website RE-ORG for the same purpose and that offers tools for those entrusted with the protection of museum collections for the benefit of future generations. Join the community and make a difference! It’s easy… and it’s entirely free!
- Art Packing Video Tutorial. This tutorial was recently published on YouTube by Art Conservation Research.
- Australian War Memorial has a Conservation webpage that provides one-page texts amongst others on:
- CAMEO: Conservation & Art Materials Encyclopedia Online. CAMEO is a searchable information resource developed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It has recently undergone a major transformation to a wiki based platform. As is inherent in wikis, some databases and pages contained within CAMEO are ‘works in progress’. Pages, data, and information will be added and updated on a continuing basis. The MATERIALS database contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on over 10,000 historic and contemporary materials used in the production and conservation of artistic, architectural, archaeological, and anthropological materials.
- Caring for your treasures. The Resource Center of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) developed several brief guides for caring for one’s personal treasures. There are guides on Architecture, Books, Glass and Ceramics, Documents and Works of Art on Paper, Furniture, Home Videotape, Metal Objects, Paintings, Photographs, Textiles, and Matting and Framing.
- CEN – European Committee for Standarization. The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage provides standards for characterisation of materials, the processes, practice, methodologies and documentation of conservation of tangible cultural heritage to support its preservation, protection and maintenance and to enhance its significance. It includes characterisation of deterioration processes and environmental conditions for cultural heritage and the products and technologies used for the planning and implementation of their conservation, restoration, repair and maintenance.
- Connecting to Collections. Their goal is to help smaller museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies get answers to collections care questions and quickly locate reliable preservation resources and to help staff members network with their colleagues. This online-community offers different useful services.
In the column Topics the website provides practical links, recordings and discussions:
- Care for Audio-Visual Materials
- Care for Books
- Care for Ceramics and Glass
- Care for Digital Materials
- Care for Metal
- Care for Paintings
- Care for Plastics
- Care for Photographs
- Care for Textiles
On the Webinar Archives page you find the following Online Event recordings:
- Caring for Books
- Storage Solutions
- The Supercharged Management System
- Digital Collections: A Future for Small Museums
- Learn More About the Conservation Assessment Program
- Promoting Preservation: Utilizing New Media
- Essential Elements of a Collections Management Policy
- The Care of Leather and Fur
- The Thomas Wolfe Memorial 15 Years Later
- WebWise Reprise Part Two: Using Collections Images in Educational Material
On the Courses webpage you find extensive information on the webinars under the title ‘Caring for Yesterday’s Treasures—Today.’ It is a series of free, online courses about the preservation of archival and historical collections. Tailored to the needs of staff and volunteers at libraries and archives, each course has included four to six interactive webinars presented by preservation experts:
- Collections Care Basics: Where Do I Begin? – January 2013
- Risk Evaluation: First Step in Disaster Planning – February 2013
- Protecting Your Collections: Writing a Disaster Response Plan – March 2013
- Caring for Digital Materials: Preventing a Digital Dark Age – April 2013
- Caring for Photographic Materials – May 2013
- Fundraising for Collections Care – September and October 2013
- Caring for Audiovisual Materials – October 2013 (Webinar recordings coming soon.)
- Outreach Activities for Collections Care – November 2013 (Webinar recordings coming soon.)
For online questions you can check in at the Meeting Room
- Conservation of Artifacts from Plant Materials by Mary-Lou E. Florian, Dale Paul Kronkright, and Ruth E. Norton. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles 1990.
- Conserve O Grams. Conserve O Grams are short, focused leaflets about caring for museum objects, published in loose-leaf format by the National Park Service, USA. They published leaflets on:
- Museum Collection Preservation
- Security, Fire, and Curatorial Safety
- Agents of Deterioration
- Museum Collections Storage
- Ethnographic Objects
- Archeological Objects
- Furniture and Wooden Objects
- Ceramic, Glass, Plaster, and Plastic Objects
- Leather and Skin Objects
- Metal Objects
- Natural History Specimens
- Paper Objects
- Stone Objects
- Textile Objects
- Packing and Shipping Museum Objects
- Museum Exhibits
- Archival and Manuscript Collections and Rare Books
- Facility Specifications for Museum and Archive
- Disaster Response and Recovery
- Creation, Care, and Storage of Digital Materials
- Conserving Modern Materials. Cleaning of Acrylic Painted Surfaces. Teaching and Learning Resources form the The Getty Conservation Institute (webpage).
- Cultural Heritage Protection Handbook 1. Security in Museums. Published by UNESCO in French and Arabic.
- Cultural Heritage Protection Handbook 4. Disaster Risk Management for Museums. Published by UNESCO in French and Arabic.
- Digital Preservation Toolkit. This website developed by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) provides accessible template, frameworks, decision trees and documents that are designed to help museums assess their digital preservation needs, to produce policy and procedures around digital preservation, and to develop, select and implement an action plan. Resources are presented in chronological order of need for the development of a digital preservation strategy.
- Effects of Light on Materials in Collections: Data on Photoflash and Related Sources by Terry T. Schaeffer. The impact of light on works of art and archival materials has long been an issue of concern, yet the literature on this subject had not been systematically reviewed. This volume provides a survey of the literature on the impact of light exposure, with an emphasis on photoflash and reprographic sources.
- France-Lanord collection: metals conservation. Through the revaluation of a selection of ICCROM’s France- Lanord technical cards, this publication aims at making this unique resource available for people wanting to enlarge and enrich their understanding about metal collections. The website includes a glossary and a bibliography.
- Fundamentals of the conservation of photographs. A Teaching Note published by the Getty Conservation Institute. For more see their website…
- Guidelines for Selecting Solid-State Lighting for Museums from the Getty Conservation Institute. To receive a free copy in PDF format you are required to send an email.
- Image Permanence Institute
- Videos. Watch the videos on
- Effect of Humidity Fluctuation on a Rare Book
- DP3 Project Activities
- Sustainable Preservation Strategies
- IPI’s Preservation Management Approach
- IPI’s Monitoring Tools
- IPI’s Preservation Metrics
- Preservation Metrics: Natural Aging
- Preservation Metrics: Metal Corrosion
- Preservation Metrics: Mechanical Damage
- Preservation Metrics: Mold Risk
- Understanding HVAC Systems
- Solutions for Small Institutions
- Videos. Watch the videos on
- International Council of Museums (ICOM) publications. ICOM is an organization by and for museum professionals and works for society and its development. It is committed to ensuring the conservation, and protection of cultural goods. More than 2,000 references of these collections are presented in the ICOM website database.
The organization runs several interesting programs like Fighting Illicit Traffic.
Also see their page on Standards & Guidelines listing the following somewhat outdated files:
- Running a Museum: a practical handbook (2004) [EN] [AR]
- The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (Current version, 2918) [EN] [FR]
- Interpreting Musical Instruments in Museum Collections: Guidelines (1998)
- Guidelines for Costume (1998)
- Handbook of Standards Documenting African Collections (1996)
- International Guidelines for Museum Object Information: the CIDOC Information Categories (1995)
- Registration Step by Step: When an Object Enters the Museum (CIDOC Fact Sheet 1, 1993)
- Labelling and Marking Objects (CIDOC Fact Sheet 2, 1993)
- Recommendations for shooting identity photographs (CIDOC Fact Sheet 3, 2010)
- Guidelines for Disaster Preparedness in Museums (1993)
- Recommendations for Regulating the Access to Musical Instruments in Public Collections (1985)
- ICOM Guidelines for Loans (1974)
- ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums (2017)
- Introduction to Object ID: Guidelines for Making Records that Describe Art, Antiques and Antiquities by Robin Thornes with Peter Dorrell and Henry Lie. Getty Information Institute, 1999
see also Object ID homepage
see also Object ID checklist in Arabic
- Key Concepts of Museology, edited by André Desvallées and François Mairesse for Armand Colin and ICOM (2010)
- Making Up the Rules: New Documentation Standards for Canadian Museums. The role and importance of museum documentation standards has grown, as data standardization and sharing become key. These (new) standards for museums were developed by Canadian museums and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN).
- MAP for ID – Museums as Places for Intercultural Dialogue. Guidelines of good practice. MAP for ID, 2007.
- Methodology for the Conservation of Polychromed Wooden Altarpieces edited by The Getty Conservation Institute and Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura. The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles 2006.
- Museum Ethics – Discussed issues. This collection of presentations of the joint annual conference of ICOM Switzerland and others in 2011 is on current ethical issues in museum practice: due diligence on the acquisition of collection objects; Handling of sensitive collections and exhibits; Separation of collection objects (ICOM Switzerland, 2013).
- Museums as places for intercultural dialogue: selected practices from Europe edited by Simona Bodo, Kirsten Gibbs, Margherita Sani. MAP for ID Group 2009.
- Museums & Galleries NSW. This Australian website lists several useful publications under the heading Support, especially the How to… series, on:
- Museum Handbook. The handbook edited by the National Park Service, USA is a reference guide on how to manage, preserve, document, access and use museum collections. The PDF file includes quick reference and keyword search (“find”) across entire Museum Handbook (Part I, II, and III).
- Object ID. This is an international standard for describing art, antiques and antiquities. The project has been developed through the collaboration of the museum community, police and customs agencies, the art trade, insurance industry, and valuers of art and antiques. It helps to combat art theft by encouraging use of the standard and by bringing together organizations around the world that can encourage its implementation.
- Philobiblon. Conservation and Preservation. This Book and Arts Web provides useful links to Hands-on Preservation Related Sites, Organizations with Preservation Activities & Other Resources, Digital Library Project and Resources, and Product & Vendor Links. Last updated June 2009!
- Protecting Art in an Earthquake: Seismic Isolator Technology. Learn how the Getty Museum’s seismic isolator technology protects inherently unstable objects.
- RE-ORG. RE-ORG is platform for endangered museum collections organized by UNESCO and ICCROM. It contributes significantly to museum capacity in ensuring conservation and access to their collections. In particular, the Documentation systems and Museum storage are identified as key areas. The first area should ‘Improve museum skills and provide tools to analyze improve and update their documentation system in order to facilitate the museum activities of conservation, research and education, as well as to prevent theft and illicit traffic.’ And the second area should ‘Improve museum skills and provide tools to analyze and improve conditions of collections in storage in order to ensure their long-term conservation and use.
- Sharing decisions: lessons learnt from an ICCROM course by Rosalia Varoli Piazza (ed.). ICCROM, Rome 2007.
- SPECTRUM: the UK Museum Collections Management Standard. This museum standard contains the 21 SPECTRUM Procedures represented in flow diagram format, and includes the information groups relevant to each procedure.
- Studies in Conservation. Database of the articles that appeared in the international peer-reviewed journal for the conservation of historic and artistic works published by the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
- Storing. Very practical webpages on the website of American Museum of Natural History · PaleoPortal Collections Management on:
- The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM). This link brings you to the interesting webpages on Conservation:
other interesting pages:
webpages on Disaster:
webpages on Collection Care
and very interesting a Visual Glossary to better understand how to describe the damage that occurs to cultural materials. Another splendid idea. The Glossary lists 78 items from Abrasion to Yellowing.
- The Institute of Conservation (ICON). On their webpage ‘Resources > Caring for your collection‘ this conservation institute lists many short leaflets:
- Art on paper (PDF)
- Carpets (PDF)
- Carved stone (PDF)
- Ceramics (PDF)
- Clocks (PDF)
- Costume (PDF)
- Frames and Gilding (PDF)
- Furniture (PDF)
- Silver (PDF)
- Vocabulary of Museum Security Terms 3.0. This online tool by ICOM and Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz will translate terms in different languages, however not in Arabic