Preserving Your Collections

You can extend the life of your family’s papers, photographs, and heirlooms by following basic guidelines for care and storage.  Here are some sources for more information on how to care for your collections.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) provides tips and techniques on caring for various types of materials, including books, glass and ceramics, textiles, furniture, photographs, and more.

Library of Congress provides information on caring for various formats, including paper, photographs, books, scrapbooks, newspapers, and more.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center​ offers free technical leaflets on a wide variety of preservation topics and links to additional resources.

The Conservation Department at Minnesota Historical Society offers practical guidelines on preservation considerations, including storage containers, handling practices, displaying items, and format-based tips for paper, textiles, ceramics, metals, plant and animal materials, glass, plastics, and more.

The National Archives (NARA) provides preservation tips for papers, albums, photographs, and other archival materials.

National Park Service “Conserve O Gram” series consists of short pamphlets that discuss care of museum objects and artifacts.

Note: This is a partial list of resources available for information concerning the care and preservation of objects, documents, and photographs. The information is provided as a service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any organization, agency, web site or product.

In some cases, consultation with a professional conservator is the best course of action to follow.  The American Institute for Conservation maintains a directory of conservators and tips on selecting a conservator:

Updated 2016

What about appraisals?

History Colorado is unable to provide appraisals of the monetary value of materials offered as gifts, presented for identification, or submitted for any other purpose. Our appraisals policy provides suggestions on how to obtain estimates or appraisals of your materials' value.