Caring for Your Collections

How can you preserve your treasures for future generations?

By learning a few basic concepts.

In order for museums to fulfill our duty to our public, we are expected to maintain our collections in perpetuity. To achieve this difficult goal, we follow a regiment known as "preventive conservation." In practice, this means we attempt to eliminate or mitigate risks to the collection. Risks result from exposure to "agents of deterioration." Preservation specialists have identified ten primary agents of deterioration that all physical objects encounter.

In your home, you can protect your family treasures by attempting to eliminate or reduce the source of the risk, by creating barriers between the source of the risk and the objects, or by actively interfering with the agent of deterioration.

Physical Forces:






Light and Ultraviolet Radiation:

Incorrect Temperature Levels and Rates of Change:

Incorrect Relative Humidity and Rates of Change:

Custodial Neglect:

Back to Top