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Collection Caretaker Newsletter 2-15-14

Collections Caretaker E-newsletter – Collections Care and Management

February 15, 2014     
Northern States Conservation CenterNorthern States
Conservation Center

The Collections Caretaker e-Newsletter

Collections Care and Management 

In This Issue
2014 Course Schedule
Archival Management
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
Found In the Collection:Orphans, Old Loans and Abandoned Property
Care of Archaeological Artifacts from the Field to the Lab
March 2014 Courses

2014 On-line Course Schedule Released

The full 2014 course schedule for is available. Several new courses have been added to the schedule this year including Building and Maintaining an Engaged Nonprofit Board of Directors, Formative Evaluation, Museum Storage Techniques, Disaster Preparation and Recovery, and Museum Ethics.

Our popular course An Introduction to Collections Preservation will now be taught more frequently because we feel it is an important foundation for many of our Collections Management and Care courses.

There may be more courses added to the 2014 schedule in the next couple of months so come back and check.

Upcoming Classes

March 3, 2014


MS101: Introduction to Museums


MS108: Fundamentals of Museum Volunteer Programs


MS205/6: Disaster Plan Research and Writing


MS215: Care of Archaeological Artifacts from the Field to the Lab


MS224: Care of Leather and Skin Materials


MS234: Archives Management


MS303: Found in the Collection: Orphans, Old Loans and Abandoned Property


March 10, 2014


MS010: Condition Assessments (short course)


April 7, 2014 


MS104: An Introduction to Collections Preservation


MS106: Exhibit Fundamentals: Ideas to Installation


MS217: Museum Cleaning Basics


MS237: Formative Evaluation for Exhibits and Public Programs **NEW**


MS254: Retail Store Management for Small Museums


April 14, 2014


MS001: The Problem with Plastics (short course)

Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium Scholarship  


The Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium (ICPC) offers two reimbursement scholarships up to $500 each that may be used for an on-line course with Northern States Conservation Center. Deadline for submittal is March 1. For more information visit the ICPC website,  

Archival Management

By Susan Duhl


Every archival collection is unique in its composition, organization, and needs for preservation and access. All archives have professional standards to work towards and most have one or more unique needs in providing the best preservation and usability.


The purpose of archives is to both create access for research and to provide the best preservation for paper-based collections that may be inherently fragile. Informational and physical controls are especially important for paper-based collections. The key to good archives care and use is through:


  • Management practices, including planning, policies, and protocols
  • Content organization and finding aids
  • Storage facilities and housing designs for care of collections


It is essential to establish and understand the mission of the archives, which in turn helps defines policies and protocols that meet that mission. Organizational systems and finding aids can be designed and implemented that best meet the contents, purpose, and usability of a collection. Standardizing procedures ensures consistent administration and preservation of collections. Physical collection controls, such as handling, housing, storage facilities, and safety and security, among others, are important components of good care of archival materials.


The Archives Management class (MS234 coming in March) is an interactive opportunity to both learn theory and answers to questions specific to each participant’s collections. Reference materials, supporting information, and problem solving are provided throughout the course.


Susan Duhl is an Art Conservator in private practice specializing in art on paper and archival collections. She provides workshops, preservation consultations and conservation treatment to institutions and private individuals throughout the world. Susan treats works on paper, including prints, watercolors, drawings, wallpaper, documents, and 3-dimensional paper objects. Her work includes disaster response and recovery, consultations and collection surveys to determine condition, treatment and long-term care recommendations, and helping clients prioritize treatment needs.  She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC) and founding member of the Art Conservator Alliance, 

CCI Tech Bulletin #11 Dry Methods for Surface Cleaning of Paper by Janet Cowan.  
Dry Methods for Surface Cleaning of Paper
This practical instruction guide is perfect for use by those responsible for care and preservation of works on paper. Describes problems caused by dirt and potential difficulties from the nature and / or condition of paper artifacts. Discusses cleaning materials and techniques and suggests specific types of works of art and archival material.

Regional Workshops 
Where you can find some of our instructors this year:  

Susan Duhl 

  • March 2014 (date to be determined)  Guidelines for Disaster Responders in Cultural Institutions, Delaware Disaster Assistance Team

John Simmons

Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences 

  • “Integrated Pest Management for Cultural Institutions,” 13 May 2014

Philadelphia History Museum

  • “Exhibitions for Cultural Institutions” (with Julianne Snider), 07 October 2014

School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University

On-line graduate workshop 07 April to 02 May 2014

  • “Museums and the Law”

On-line graduate classes 13 January to 05 April, 2014

  • “Museum Collections”
  • “Foundations of Museum Studies”

Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate course 20 January to 06 May 2014

  • “Museum Education” (with Julianne Snider)

Forthcoming publications:

  • “Foundations of Museum Studies: Evolving Systems of Knowledge” with Dr. Kiersten F. Latham
  • “Fluid Preservation: A Comprehensive Reference”
  • “Collection Care and Management” in “Museum Practice,” edited by Conal McCarthy

Karin Hostetter

National Association for Interpretation 

  • Mar 18, 2014 1 – 2 pm (Mountain) webinar for National Association for Interpretation on evaluation for front line interpreters
  • May 6, 2014 1 – 2 pm (Mountain) webinar for National Association for Interpretation on some aspect on volunteer program management–specific topic still to be decided
  • Sept. 16, 2014 1 – 2 pm (Mountain) webinar for National Association for Interpretation on some aspect on volunteer program management–specific topic still to be decided

Steve Layne

Yale University, New Haven, CT 

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Certified Institutional Protection Specialist/Supervisor (CIPS) Basic Protection Training & Certification
  • Tuesday-Thursday, April 22-24, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily Certified Institutional Protection Instructor (CIPI) Certification


American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA

  • Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB)
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Certified Institutional Protection Manager (CIPM) Certification    

Conferences and Meetings


American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting

May 18-21, 2014, Seattle, WA  

March 5-7, 2014, Napa, CA


2014 Building Museums Symposium

Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums

March 16-18, 2014, Miami, FL 


Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums Annual Meeting

May 8-10, 2014, Cody, WY


Society For the Preservation of Natural History Collections Annual Meeting

June 22-28, 2014, Cardiff, Wales, UK


Association of Midwest Museums Annual Meeting

July 14-17, 2014, St. Louis, MO


International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection

Annual Conference, Seminar, Exhibits & Certification Program
August 9-14, 2014,
Denver, CO


Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts, 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting

September 17-20, 2014, St. Paul, MN    


Mountain-Plains Museums Association Annual Meeting

September 28 – October 2, 2014, Aspen, CO


Western Museums Association Annual Meeting

October 5-8, 2014, Las Vegas, NV


Southeast Association of Museums Annual Meeting

October 20-22, 2014, Knoxville, TN


New England Association of Museums Annual Meeting

November 19-21, 2014, Cambridge, MA

Submissions and Comments


How to submit an article or upcoming workshops for inclusion in the Newsletter:  

If you would like to submit an article, notice of an organizational meeting or upcoming workshop for an upcoming Collections Caretaker Newsletter, send your submission to  


We are always looking for contributions to this newsletter. Submission deadline is the 10th of each month. 


Have a comment or suggestion?   


Send it to

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About Us

Welcome to the Collections Caretaker e-Newsletter from Northern States Conservation Center. The newsletter is designed to bring you timely and helpful content that is pertinent to situations we all encounter in our museum and archives work. Feel free to let us know what topics you would like to see featured in Collections Caretaker or even contribute an article.

Found in the Collection: Orphans, Old Loans and Abandoned Property

By Lin Nelson-Mayson


Information anxiety is the black hole between data and knowledge, and it happens when information doesn’t tell us what we want or need to know.— Richard Saul Wurman (b. 1935, founder of the TED Conference)  


They may lurk on the back shelf of your storeroom. Perhaps they rest in that case down the dark hall where no one ventures. Forget Hollywood’s monsters: these are true museum mysteries – old loans and abandoned property. Nearly all collecting museums confront the problem of old loans and/or abandoned property. However, we don’t need to hide the problem. Bring these stray items into the sunlight and face them with a plan.


Unfortunately, many museums have accepted loans with limited documentation or find objects in their care with little or no documentation and a lack of institutional memory about them. Over 31 states have laws that define these situations and remedies for them. Museum organizations, in turn, have developed workshops to explain how to meet these legal requirements and establish ownership of unclaimed loans and undocumented objects.


Registrars and collections managers are often the front line for establishing the documentation necessary to track museum objects. They’re generally responsible for identifying and processing objects with unknown or lost records.  


So why should you be concerned? Although these items may not seem like pressing issues, their very age and the uncertainty surrounding them make addressing the problem important. The passage of time makes these mysteries harder to solve. Without legal title to an object, a museum bears full responsibility for storage, insurance, record keeping, security and climate control, but is unable to take appropriate actions with an object.


For example: a museum may value an object and wish to lend it to an exhibition. However, they are unable to contact the owner for permission.


The first governor’s desk at the Horseshoe County Historical Society has been a popular feature of tours for many years. It is listed in the records as a “permanent loan,” but no one remembers talking with an owner or has seen any loan documents. The State Historical Society
 would like to borrow the desk and make it the centerpiece of its centennial exhibit, but doesn’t know how to contact the owner for permission.


Or a museum may wish to conserve an object, but does not have permission for treatment.


If Mrs. Gotrocks’ portrait of her great-grandfather was cleaned, we could finally get it out of storage for the upcoming Founders’ Day celebration exhibition. When did we last hear from her anyway? Did she move someplace warmer? Is she living?  


Some objects are of no interest. But they still occupy valuable space.


When our museum reorganized to focus on art, we got rid of all natural history items – except 15 crates of rocks and iron scraps that no one could identify and for which no files existed. These crates take up space where we wanted to install compact painting storage!


Other objects pose a danger to the collection or staff.


The cultural history museum finally traced an infestation of powder post beetles that were invading the painting frames to a dilapidated wooden trunk. No one could locate documentation for the trunk to destroy it so it was sealed in plastic and moved to a remote part of the storeroom.


In each scenario, the museum must clarify ownership. Without that, the museum is unable to properly care for the objects. The object has become a burden that the museum feels professionally compelled to retain, but can’t take any action.


From the perspective of the profession, the practice of accepting “indefinite” and “permanent” loans is heavily discouraged and cataloging procedures are generally more thorough. Museums are responsible for establishing and maintaining protocols that protect them, as much as possible, against problems that may arise from a lack of documentation or contact with lenders.  


Until the early 1990s, most museums were resigned to:

  • Holding old loans and objects,
  • Developing parallel cataloging systems to track unknown objects, and
  • Developing lengthy procedures to unearth lenders or their heirs.

Holding old loans takes up many museum resources, including staff time, expensive-to-maintain storage space, and annual insurance coverage. A loan or unknown origin item must be treated with the same care as an accessioned item. Some argue that loans should have the best care – since they are NOT owned by the institution and could be a liability if damaged through mistreatment. This means climate controlled storage spaces, storage mounts, and careful handling practices.


A parallel cataloging system might use a letter to designate undocumented objects. Often they turn up when reorganizing storage or during inventories. Under such a system, accession numbers would begin with an “X” (for unknown), such as “X1988.01.” One creative South Carolina museum used the prefix “CLM,” for “common-law marriage.” (Common-law marriage is an informal term describing a couple who have lived together for a long time, but never married. In other words, the objects had been around long enough to belong to the museum by now, but no documentation – “marriage license” – could be found for them.)


Searching for owners was a burdensome process. Often it involved researching genealogical records, writing to county courthouses for address and probate records, writing to cemeteries, searching old telephone books, and sending letters to possible descendants.


In the 1980s, museums brought the problem to various state legislatures. They encouraged laws to help museums and archives legally pursue title to old loans and abandoned property. These laws are designed to create procedures for establishing ownership. They typically address each type of problem object. And they establish processes for determining status within the museum, procedures for publicly seeking original owners, and processes that allow museums to assert ownership if no one comes forward to claim an object.


Excerpt from MS 303: Found in the Collection: Orphans, Old Loans and Abandoned Property starting March 3, 2014


Lin Nelson-Mayson, with over 25 years of museum experience at small and large institutions, is director of the University of Minnesota’s Goldstein Museum of Design. Prior to that, she was the director of ExhibitsUSA, a nonprofit exhibition touring organization that annually tours over 30 art and humanities exhibitions across the country. For five years, she was a coordinator or judge for the American Association of Museums’ Excellence in Exhibitions Competition. She currently serves on the exhibition committee for the National Sculpture Society. Ms. Nelson-Mayson has extensive experience with the planning, preparation, research and installation of exhibitions. Ms Nelson-Mayson’s experience includes teaching museum studies and museology courses. Her particular interest is the needs of small museums.

Care of Archaeological Artifacts from the Field to the Lab

By Diana Komejan


Conservation and archaeology enjoy a symbiotic relationship: without proper conservation artifacts inevitably lose much of the valuable information sought by archaeologists. Buried objects reach a sort of equilibrium underground and the process of deterioration slows. But once they’re unearthed, the process accelerates.


Every archaeological excavation must take steps to make sure a qualified professional conservator and conservation lab are available to treat finds once they’ve been recovered.


What needs to be considered?

  • Planning and equipment that may be required
  • Artifacts: what kind are you likely to find
  • Environment: is it a wet, damp or dry environment (this has an impact on the artifacts)
  • Care and packing
  • Block lifts and other specialized excavation techniques may be required

The Conservation Manual for Northern Archaeologists [i] makes it clear that archaeologists should consider preservation treatment long before they start to dig: “Many potentially damaging situations can be avoided by adequate planning for conservation prior to the excavation. Early planning will allow the archaeologists sufficient time to include conservation in their research design and budget, and to acquire the necessary conservation services and field supplies.”


It’s important that archaeologists put those words into practice. Too often they merely pay lip service or, worse, ignore them. Remember, everyone involved in an excavation from the site to the conservation lab shares the goal of collecting information through what are often years of research. Proper excavation, handling, packing and transport of artifacts greatly increases the amount of information retrieved. Take the case of stone objects. Valuable information can be found on the surface of stone. In some cases, traces of blood have been found and analyzed successfully from hunting points.


There are several simple, but mandatory, steps to take long before heading to an excavation.


Find out everything possible about the local climate. Is it hot? Cold? Dry? Wet? Take the time to learn about the digging conditions. Is there a lot of topsoil or a little? Some sites are a few meters deep, while others, particularly in the far north, can contain hundreds of years worth of material mixed atop the surface.


It’s equally important to know ahead of time just what you’ll encounter in terms of archaeological material. Some sites are prolific, yielding hundreds of objects daily. Others yield a tiny numbers of objects, often after days of digging. Knowing what type of objects likely will be found is vital as well. Will most of them be metal or organic materials? What type of evacuation techniques will be used?


This information is vital. You’ll need it to prepare not only yourself, but to acquire materials to stabilize the precious finds that will be coming out of the ground.    


Preparing for the Excavation


Virtually every book about archaeology mentions digging season. This is an important reminder that time spent in the field is always limited. Yet we can stretch that time and fulfill our obligation to preserve the objects we excavate with careful planning long before we activate the out of office reply on our email, tell the mailman to hold the post and head out to dig.


Considerations include where we expect to find artifacts; the conditions – wet, dry, etc.; the time period of the site; materials we expect to encounter; and the site itself, including information such as soil pH.


Generally there has been an investigation of the site in previous years. Find and read the site report. It should contain much of the information you require to plan for the upcoming excavation. Test pits will have been dug and travel will have occurred, sorting out some logistics. However, don’t rely solely on data from test pits. There can be surprises since most excavated areas are no longer in a natural state. Most have been disturbed, creating microenvironments with conditions that differ from “normal” on the site. As a result, preservation can differ in various areas. Don’t feel free to head into the field without a lot of preparation.


Site considerations


Information collected ahead of time should allow you to make some predictions about the condition of the artifacts that you expect to find. For instance, well aerated, sandy, gravely soil that percolates water quickly and has a relatively neutral pH will likely hold artifacts in the poorest condition. Metal deteriorates rapidly when water, oxygen and dissolved salts combine – creating a variety of corrosion products. Aerobic bacteria metabolize the sugars and proteins of organic materials causing them to deteriorate. Conversely, glass, well-fired ceramics, lithic or stone, carbonized wood and burned bone will survive well in most types of soil.


The best preservation occurs in anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions, such as in a container or encapsulated in mud, ice, or water. Good preservation also occurs in arid conditions.


The deterioration and preservation of archaeological materials depends on two things: (1) the nature of the material and (2) the environment surrounding the material. Sometimes it is difficult to separate these two aspects of deterioration/preservation, for the survival of a particular material may be due in part to its resistance to decay and in part to a benign environment, whether in the ground or in the museum. Jane Cronyn [ii] identifies two types of deterioration that occur during burial:

  • Physical deterioration: breakdown of the structure of materials; examples being the destruction of stone by frost, the abrasion of soft bone by running water or the distortion of lead by the weight of overburden.
  • Chemical deterioration: alteration of the chemical composition of materials; water and air corrode iron, acids dissolve lime-plaster, and bacteria break down leather.

The general rule of thumb in artifact recovery is to keep the item in the environment to which it has become accustomed until a conservator can stabilize it in a laboratory. If the object is wet, keep it wet. If the object is dry, keep it dry. If the object is damp, keep it damp. Further testing may be needed to determine if a wet or damp object can be air-dried without causing damage.


Sometimes seemingly dry material is really a little damp. Drying them completely may cause crusts to harden, the object to warp, or cracks to appear. Keeping them damp, or storing them in plastic bags or boxes, might result in mold on the surface. Again, a conservator should work with you to determine the optimum strategy for removing and packing these items. If something that was wet has dried out, you cannot re-wet it. Now it must stay dry.


How will you keep these precious finds safe until they get to the lab? How will you transport them? How will you record them and keep track of them? Where will they be stored? These are all important things to consider and plan for.  


Excerpt from MS215: Care of Archaeological Artifacts from the Field to the Lab starting March 3, 2014.


Diana Komejan graduated from Sir Sandford Fleming Colleges Art Conservation Techniques program in 1980. She has worked for Parks Canada; Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan; Heritage Branch Yukon Territorial Government; National Gallery of Canada; Canadian Museum of Nature; Yukon Archives and the Antarctic Heritage Trust and is currently teaching Conservation Techniques in the Applied Museum Studies Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. In 1995 she was accredited in Mixes Collection with The Canadian Association of Professional Conservators. Her work as a conservator has been quite broad in scope, having worked with historic sites, archaeological excavations and museums. In addition to lab treatments, Diana has broad archaeological experience, including the excavation of mammoths and dinosaur tracks.

[i] The Conservation Manual for Northern Archaeologists by Rosalie Scott, Conservator, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) and Tara Grant, Conservator, Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) with acknowledgement and gratitude to past contributions of PWNHC and CCI staff, revised 3rd edition, 2006.


[ii] J.M. Cronyn, The Elements of Archaeological Conservation, 1990, Pg. 14.

March 2014 Classes


MS101: Introduction to Museums
Instructor: John Simmons 

Mar 3 – Mar 28, 2014 


The United States has more than 17,000 museums, we can only guess at the world’s total. While most people think of a museum as a well-staffed, professionally run institution, the vast majority of museums are started and run by people with little or no basic training in museum studies or preservation. Introduction to Museums is designed to change that. The course introduces basic concepts, terminology and the role of various staff members, including curators, registrars and directors. Introduction to Museums is aimed at staff members, board members, interns, volunteers, as well as anyone interested in becoming a museum professional or learning more about the profession.


MS108: Fundamentals of Museum Volunteer Programs
Instructor: Karin Hostetter
Mar 3 – Mar 28, 2014    


Volunteers are essential for most non-profit institutions. But good volunteers aren’t born – they are made. Even though they don’t get paychecks, it takes time and money to have effective volunteers. Fundamentals of Museum Volunteer Programs teaches the basics of a strong volunteer program. Topics include recruiting, training and rewarding volunteers, as well as preparing staff. Instruction continues through firing and liabilities. Participants will end up with sound foundational knowledge for starting a new or strengthening an existing volunteer program based on a nine-step process.


MS215: Care of Archaeological Artifacts from the Field to the Lab
Instructor: Diana Komejan
Mar 3 – Mar 28, 2014   


Archaeological finds come out of the ground fragile – and they often stay that way. Yet archaeologists and museum professionals have few clear guidelines for handling, moving, storing and displaying such materials. Participants in Care of Archaeological Artifacts From the Field to the Lab learn techniques for safely lifting and packing artifacts, safe transportation and temporary and permanent storage. The course also covers a broad range of excavation environments, including the Arctic, wet sites, tropical and temperate. Though Care of Archaeological Artifacts is not intended to train archaeological conservators, it is designed to help participants understand what can and can’t be done to save the artifacts they unearth.


MS234: Archives Management
Instructor: Susan Duhl
Mar 3 – Mar 28, 2014    


Archives include flat paper, photographs, bound pamphlets, books, small 3-dimensional objects, and magnetic media. The Archives Management course covers an introduction to the materials found in archives and typical use of these materials including use patterns, retrieval needs, finding aids, handling and exhibition. The last half of the course details optimum storage options for archival materials. Storage includes furniture, storage techniques, standardized and specialized housing such as folders and boxes and custom-made housings.


MS303: Found in the Collection: Orphans, Old Loans and Abandoned Property
Instructor: Lin Nelson-Mayson
Mar 3 – Mar 28, 2014 


Every museum has a few stray items. Some lost tags long ago. Others turn up as surprises during inventories. A few are all that remain from long-ago exhibits. While you’ll want to keep some, others may be deteriorating. Even worse, some pose significant hazards for staff and the rest of the collection. All raise legal and professional questions. How do you deal with objects that have no records? Or loans from unidentified or deceased lenders? Found in the Collection addresses how to identify abandoned objects and old loans. It further covers the application of state laws and rules for identifying owners or establishing ownership.


MS224: Care of Leather and Skin Materials
Instructor: Helen Alten
Mar 3 – Apr 11, 2014    


Prior to the invention of plastics, skin materials were the flexible covering used for most objects – from bellows to books, carriages to desktops. Furs and skins are in almost every museum’s collection, be it Natural History, History or Art. Caring for leather and skin materials demands an understanding of how and why they deteriorate. Care of Leather and Skin Materials offers a simplified explanation of the origin, chemistry and structure of leathers and skins. Students learn to identify leathers and surface finishes, determine their extent of deterioration, write condition reports, and understand the agents of deterioration that are harmful to leather and skins both in storage and on exhibit. Topics include preparing hide and skin materials for storage and exhibit, the use of archival materials and which ones might harm skin proteins, housekeeping techniques for large objects or books on open display, and three-dimensional supports for leather and skin to keep them from distorting. Integrated pest management and historical treatments will be covered, with a unit on hazardous materials applied to older skins and leather that might prove a danger to staff.


MS205/6: Disaster Plan Research and Writing

Instructor: Terri Schindel 
Mar 3 – Apr 25, 2014                    


Every museum needs to be prepared for fires, floods, chemical spills, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters. But surveys show 80 percent lack trained staff, emergency-preparedness plans for their collections, or both. Disaster Plan Research and Writing begins with the creation of disaster-preparedness teams, the importance of ongoing planning, employee safety, board participation and insurance. Participants will learn everything they need to draft their own disaster-preparedness plans. They also will be required to incorporate colleagues in team-building exercises.

A written disaster-preparedness plan is not only a good idea, it’s also a requirement for accreditation. In the second half of the course, instructor Terri Schindel reviews and provides input as participants write plans that outline the procedures to follow in various emergencies. The completed plan prepares museums physically and mentally to handle emergencies that can harm vulnerable and irreplaceable collections. You will have a completed institutional disaster-preparedness and response plan at the end of the course.


MS010: Condition Assessments(short course)

Instructor: Helen Alten 
Mar 10 – 14, 2014    


Whenever an object leaves or enters your museum, it should have a dated condition report completed. A condition report is so much more than “good” or “poor.” Learn about different types of condition reports, what is essential and what is optional information in each, the function of a condition report, and how to use an online condition assessment tool.

Northern States Conservation Center (NSCC) provides training, collection care, preservation and conservation treatment services. NSCC offers online museum studies classes at in Collections Management & Care, Museum Administration & Management, Exhibit Practices and Museum Facilities Management.


Helen Alten, Director

Brad Bredehoft, Sales and Technology Manager

Peggy Schaller, Publications Manager 

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