Collections Caretaker

A few years back Collections Caretaker was Northern States Conservation Center's quarterly publication. In 2010 it was relaunched as an e-Newsletter. Collections Caretaker emphasizes preservation of museum collections and museum studies. It covers topics of interest to large and small institutions of every type and description, including living history museums, art museums, natural history museums, historical societies and privately owned collections. Filled with practical information that you can apply to the care of your collection, the goal of Collections Caretaker is to keep you up to date on advances in the museum field and provide case studies of interesting collections care and museum studies solutions. It will keep you informed of useful workshops, publications and grant deadlines. Feel free to let us know what topics you would like to see featured in Collections Caretaker or even contribute an article. Contact the editor at

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Past Issues of Collection Caretaker e-Newsletter

Storage Philsophy
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
Painting Storage Simplified & Streamlined
Preparing for New Collection Storage Systems
September and October Courses

Asset Security
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
Super Panel Display
An Introduction to Magnetic Mounting Systems
August Courses
September Courses

Museum Ethics
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
Moving A Museum Collection: What We Learned...
Having trouble with pests invading your collections?
Disaster Planning Resources
June, July, and August Courses

It's Mold Season
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Volunteer Management - Is your Museum Really Ready?
Goals of Traveling Exhibitions
November 2014 Courses
Submissions and Comments

Care of Paintings
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
NSCC Attending AASLH Meeting
Strategic Planning in Museums
Introduction to Integrated Pest Management
Submissions and Comments

See Something, Say Something
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
Introduction to Museum Databases
Introduction to Metals
New Pathways
September 2014 Courses

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Overcoming Resistance: Getting Staff Buy-in/Overcoming Staff Fears
Numbering Museum Objects
August 2014 Courses
Submissions and Comments

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Introduction to Museum Security
Collections Stewardship, Cataloging and Museum Security
July 2014 Courses
Submissions and Comments

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Photographs Defined
AASLH Small Museum Pro! Series Hosted by NSCC
June 2014 Courses
Submissions and Comments

Storage Facilities
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
2014 Course Schedule
Textiles and their Environment
Care of Basketry News
May 2014 Courses
Submissions and Comments

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
2014 Course Schedule
From Fundamentals to Facelift
April 2014 Courses

Regional Workshops
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

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
2014 Course Schedule
Are You Taking Advantage of All the Educational Opportunities Open to Your Museum?
Legal Issues in Collection Management
Visit to Hawaii
February 2014 Courses

December 15, 2013 Documentation & Interpretation

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
Submissions and Comments
2014 Course Schedule
The Genius of Omission
Introduction to Collections Management
January 2014 Courses
Disaster Preparation and Prevention

November 29, 2013 Museums & Community

Closing Procedures
Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
2014 Course Schedule
Museums & Communities
New Course Offerings in 2014

November 1, 2013 Collections & Risk

Regional Workshops
Conferences and Meetings
2014 Course Schedule
Causes of Damage to Metal Artifacts
Reconciling an Inventory

August 28, 2013 Packing & Storage

Congratulations Gawain
Polyethylene Foam
Regional Workshops
Paintings Packing and Transport
Constructing the Ideal Storage Space
AASLH Annual Meeting

July 22, 2013 Seasonal Changes

AASLH Annual Meeting
Regional Workshops
Risks in Seasonal Museums
Museums and Exhibitions
Volunteering Expands Your Skills

June 17, 2013 Managing Collections

Accreditation and Standards
Regional Workshops
Moving a Collection

May 2, 2013 Planning for the Future

Anthropology Education in Museums
NSCC Supports Education
Regional Workshops
Strategic Planning

March 21, 2013 Defining, Designing and Protecting

Museum Store Design
Regional Workshops
Photographs Defined
Cleaning and Staff Safety
Handling Birds

February 25, 2013 Light

Light Emitting Diodes
Preservation Webcast
NATHPO Courses
Regional Workshops
Light Fading from UV
Exhibition Lighting
Archives Storage

January 29, 2013 Collections Inside and Out

NATHPO Courses
Regional Workshops
Inside the Box
Laws Affecting Collections

December 27, 2012 Making A Difference

Disasters and Regional Workshops
Regional Workshops
2013 Course Schedule
Care for Paper Collections
Grant Deadlines

October 31, 2012 Protecting Collections

Collections Emergency Response Team
Conservation Assessment Program
2013 Class Schedule

August 21, 2012 Before Disaster Strikes

Emergency Response Apps
Pest ID App
Museums Using Apps
Risk Assessment
Finishing Certificates
Regional Workshops

July 31, 2012 Caring for Objects

Paper Conservation
Regional Workshops
Moving and Handling Furniture
Developing a new Exhibition
What is a Museum

June 28, 2012 Moving Forward

Tim Huber Moves Forward
Regional Workshops
Moving Collections
Establishing a Tribal (or any) Museum
Busy Spring at Northern States

April 11, 2012 Integrating Preservation Principles

ICPC Scholarship
Regional Workshops
Integrating Preservation
Exhibit Mounts

February 25, 2012 Collections Management and Care

Museum Stores
Regional Workshops
Storage and Preservation
Collections Stewardship

January 16, 2012 Museum Sustainability

Scholarship Opportunity
Regional Workshops
Green Revolution

December 21, 2011 Designing for the Future

Scholarship Opportunity
Regional Workshops
Holiday Reading
2012 Course Schedule

November 4, 2011 Woven Together

Periodic Inventories
Textile Structures

September 30, 2011 Protecting Starff and Collections

The Aesthetic and Protective Nature of Framing
Pesticide Contamination and Museums
Human Health and Safety after a Disaster
Regional Workshops

August 22, 2011 Volunteers and Management

Regional Workshops
Misconceptions Regarding Volunteers
Budget Management
Scholarship Opportunity

July 26, 2011 Art Collections

Regional Workshops
Living with Art Collections
Hanging a Show

June 18, 2011 Using Collections

Use of Paper Collections
Researcher Access Policy and Procedures: Access to Archive Collections
Why Collection Care Makes Good Public Relation Sense
Regional Workshops

May 27, 2011 Regional Initiatives

Dreams Become Reality
Midwest Leadership Academy: Expand Your Leadership Capacity
Preservation Fair
Mobile Lab
Regional Workshops

April 21, 2011 The Environment

Matting and Framing Microclimates
What Made Lucy Rot
Humidistatic Heating
Establishing a Tribal Museum

March 28, 2011 An Organized Approach

Care of . . .
Developing Exhibitions
Planning for Mannequins

February 25, 2011 When Bad Things Happen

Choosing Trustworthy Volunteers
Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan
Gift Store Security
Suspecting Pests
Security for Tribal Museums

January 18, 2011 Storage and Care

Marking Procedures
Overlooked Objects
Determining Storage Space Needs
Storing Artwork
Buy-In for Preservation

January 7, 2011 Exhibits and Security

Label Design
NATHPO and Alaska courses
Protecting Artifacts on Exhibit
Object Security: Use of Barriers

December 13, 2010 Starting Right: Insight from Our Instructors

Conservation Assessment Program
Starting a New Museum
Preservation from the Start
Getting Ready in Indian Country
Costume Grants

November 20, 2010

New in 2011
Snake and Donuts
Connecting to Collections
Conservation Assessment Program

October 15, 2010

Engaging Your Region
Periodic Inventories
Condition Reports
What is Climate Control?
Textiles and Environment

September 22, 2010

Museums, Entropy and Collections Management
Disaster Planning in Greece
Integrated Pest Management

August 21, 2010

Beginning a Volunteer Program
Strategic Planning
Why do we need a Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan

July 29, 2010

Preventive Conservation of Paintings
To Preserve Our Collections We Must Understand How They Were Constructed
The Monster in Our Museums: Old Loans and Abandoned Property

July 16, 2010

Top Notch Education Programs Are Mission Driven
Testing Pens Helps Determine Applicability in Museum Object Labeling

July 9, 2010

New StEPs Program
Museum Cleaning
Museum Security
Mission Statement

January 23, 2010

Learn to care for paintgs or baskets
Buy-In: Getting All of the Staff to Support Preservation

January 9, 2010 joins Facebook
Case Study: NATHPO and NSCC

Past Issues of the Printed Collection Caretaker

Vol.3 No.1 Winter 2000-2001 Museum Temperature and Relative Humidity Monitoring Dataloggers
Compare museum temperature and relative humidity monitoring dataloggers by Rachel Perkins Arenstein
Is Ethafoam safe to use in your museum? by Helen Alten

Vol.2 No.4 Summer 2000 Preservation in Storage Design
Consider preservation in storage design by Catharine Hawks
A simple, quick mount briefly displays clothing for the Science Museum of Minnesota by Gretchen Anderson
Display mounts for marine mollusks by Brad Bredehoft

Vol.2 No.3 Winter 1999-2000 Exhibiting Without Damaging Collections
Exhibiting without damaging collections by Helen Alten
NEH funds available to underserved regions
Early April grant deadlines benefit rural museums
An inexpensive method to heat seal Mylar by Catherine Hawks

Vol.2 No.2 Fall 1999 Temperature and Relative Humidity
How temperature and relative humidity affect collection deterioration rates by Helen Alten
Developing a relationship with local reporters will help the museum in future contacts by Tim Huber
News from the new laboratory

Vol.2 No.1 Spring 1999 Fire Recovery
A small fire required a big recovery effort by Shelly Sjøvold and Helen Alten
The Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel
Grants for Collections Care
Recovering from a fire, flood or earthquake: An organized response makes all the difference by Helen Alten
Emergency preparedness and recovery services available

Vol.1 No.4 Winter 1998-1999 Indoor Generated Pollutants
Monitoring and beating the enemy within: Indoor-generated pollutants by Cecily Grzywacz and Helen Alten
Screening Conservation, Storage and Exhibit Materials Using Acid-Detection Strips by Catherine Nicholson and Elissa O'Loughlin
Thanks to you, Northern States Conservation Center is growing!

Vol.1 No.3 Spring 1998 Integrated Pest Management
Integrate pest management into operations by Wendy Jessup
Take care to follow pesticide regulations by Mary Ballard and Tom Parker
An IPM Checklist for Planning and Implementing Pest Control on Art and Artifact Collections by Mary Ballard
Northern States Conservation Center provides workshops

Vol.1 No.2 Fall 1997 Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuums put power into annual cleaning by Helen Alten
Use the Net to find preservation resources by Eric Swanson
Electronic security systems at a small museum: the Adams Memorial Museum case study by Mary Kopco
Selecting sealants for your building by Jeff Oertel
Interactive video networks bring training sessions closer to home

Vol.1 No.1 Summer 1997 Long Range Preservation Planning
It takes a staff to care for a collection by Helen Alten
Getting your museum on the Internet by Eric Swanson
A good long-range plan combines survey recommendations and fiscal opportunities by Helen Alten
Resources boost your preservation library by Helen Alten
Conservation assessment grant funds available


    Collection Caretaker is a publication of
Northern States Conservation Center
P.O. Box 8081, St. Paul, MN 55108
phone: (651) 659-9420
Editor: Helen Alten
Copy Editor: Tim Huber

Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors. Authors of published contributions assign NSCC the right to publish their work in both print and electronic form and the right to archive and make contributions retrievable electronically. However, authors retain copyright and may republish their work in any way they wish.