Fundamentals of Collections Care (Level 1)

Collections care encompasses museum-wide activities that require an understanding of the factors that cause deterioration and the actions that can slow the rate of deterioration and prevent damage. This course provides the foundational preservation knowledge necessary to care for museum, library, and archive collections. Course topics include:

  • Developing a community of practice in collections care
  • Culturally sensitive stewardship
  • Hazardous materials in collections
  • Agents of deterioration
  • Mitigation of the agents of deterioration
  • Archival materials
  • Preventive care and exhibits
  • Care of organic objects (e.g., textiles, paper, keratin and collagen-based materials)
  • Care of inorganic objects (e.g., metals, glass, ceramics, stone, bone, antler, ivory)

This four week course uses a blended learning format. The class meets synchronously two hours per week via video conferencing, along with asynchronous discussions, readings, and hands-on activities to be completed each week. Participants build community through small group activities during synchronous class, online discussions, and virtual gatherings. Live sessions will be held on Thursdays from 3:00-5:00 pm CST.

The course fee includes all course materials, shipping, and Center for Collections Care swag. Hands-on kits and instructions are mailed to participants before the start of class. Hands-on kits and interactives include:

  • Archival materials kit
  • Light fading kit
  • IPM monitoring kit
  • Calcium carbonate polishing kit
  • Fiber Identification kit

This class is part of a two-part beginner-level series that serves as a gateway to more advanced hands-on conservation courses. The other segment of this series, Fundamentals of Collections Management is offered annually. These courses need not be taken in sequence. Maximum number of participants: 20.

Course Dates

January 18-February 8, 2024 (CONFIRMED TO RUN AND FULL)

Course Fee


Early Registration



Christa Deacy-Quinn

About the Instructor

Christa Deacy-Quinn is the Collections Manager at the University of Illinois Spurlock Museum where she has managed collections care and preservation, artifact storage, packaging, transport, as well as exhibit design and installation since 1991. Christa holds a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in Anthropology and Museum Studies from SUNY-Oswego. In addition, she teaches museum collection preservation at the University of Illinois, serves as a faculty associate of Ontario’s Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, and is a peer reviewer for the Museum Assessment Program for the American Alliance of Museums. Christa is author of FUNdamentals of Museum IPM, accessible for free download.

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