Preserving Washington's Cultural Heritage

The collections of the archives, historical societies, libraries, and museums of Washington document our rich and diverse cultural heritage. They encompass artwork, books, ethnographic objects, film, photographs, manuscripts, maps, objects, scrapbooks, sound recordings, and many other formats. Collectively they provide in-depth resources for learning, teaching, research, personal development and study, and the economic and social well being of our citizens.

Preservation involves ‘activities associated with maintaining library, archival, or museum materials for use, either in their original physical form or in some other format’ (American Library Association). It is ‘the protection of cultural property through activities that minimize chemical and physical deterioration and damage and that prevent loss of informational content. The primary goal of preservation is to prolong the existence of cultural property’ (American Institute for Conservation of Art and Historic Artifacts)…

Knowing how to prevent damage to library materials can save money, staff time, and heartache in an age of shrinking resources. The following links provide information on caring for collections, from the basics (including what not to do), to addressing specific conservation concerns.

Preservation Links

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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).