MKG Recommends: NEDCC the Source Professionals Use
Memory Keepers Guide Recommendation: NEDCC
The most useful thing I learned in grad school was where to go to find the answer. When working with a museum's collection, it is important to be informed on how to care for the collection before you start caring for it, after all, there is a reason the collections are in a museum. It is a big responsibility to be in charge of priceless objects. One of the first places I was taught to go to answer my questions on the care of a collection was the Northeast Document Conservation Center or NEDCC. According to their website they were started in "response to growing alarm about the monumental scope of the paper deterioration problem facing collection-holding institutions in New England."* They focused just on paper, at first, but over the years has been a predominant source around the world, as a conservation resource for books, papers, photographs, and audio. This is a source for Museum professionals and archivists go to find preservation methods for their objects, and that being the case, they are very detailed. This is like reading an academic article. For people very interested in methods, and the details they are a great source. They have details, but they also have resources for the amateur. If you go to their website find the tab that says "Free Resources". They have information on disaster plans, digital preservation, and further reading, if you want to learn more about conservation, but especially check out the "preserving private and family collections". They discuss environment, storage, framing, news clippings, order in books, and folded or rolled materials. This is a place for some quick tips on caring for a family's collection. ** See below for link to their tips on a Family Collection.
NEDCC is geared toward larger conservation projects. It is a great resource if you need a conservator. Has your family heirloom fallen from tall heights, or crunched under your boots, and you want a conservator to fix it. They are a great website to find a specialized conservator. But keep in mind hiring a private a conservator, is costly. But they offer assessment and consultation services as well as links to the American Society of Appraisers, and the Appraisers Association of America.
NEDCC is a great resource. Their focus is on the professional, and so you have to dig a bit to find information that would be useful for the memory keepers amongst us, but poke around, look through their free resources tap on their front page, and there is a lot to learn at the NEDCC.
**Caring for Private and Family Collections for NEDCC: https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preserving-private-and-family-collections/caring-for-private-and-family-collections
*About Us Page for NEDCC: https://www.nedcc.org/about/history/overview