Advice on Caring for Your Personal Collections

A qualified conservator can provide sound, ethical preservation services for your art objects, artifacts, and other items of historic and cultural value and can diagnose problems, provide treatment when necessary, and advise on appropriate conditions for storage and exhibition. The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) publishes Guidelines for Selecting a Conservator and maintains a database of conservators in your area. Personal collections may have historic, financial, or sentimental value. Given the variety of material formats that may be in your personal collections (photographs, newspapers, letters, textiles, and video), you should seek information that addresses a format’s specific needs. The following resources provide up-to-date information on many material formats:

Guidelines for Selecting a Conservator (AIC – American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works)

Preparing, Protecting, Preserving Family Treasures (Library of Congress)

Caring for Your Treasures (AIC)

Caring for Your Family Archives (NARA – National Archives and Records Administration)

Where To Buy Preservation Supplies

Where To Buy Preservation Boxes Q & A with University Book Conservator Eliza Gilligan

Want to become a conservator? U.Va. Library’s Book Conservator Eliza Gilligan discusses her work and provides some pointers on the skills and training necessary for a career in conservation in an interview with popular Web site

Q and A with Book Conservator Eliza Gilligan on How to Establish Your Book Conservation Career (