This community began in 2010 with the name, Connecting to Collections Online Community, as a part of the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ many-sided national initiative, Connecting to Collections (C2C), to improve collections care for smaller cultural institutions. Initially, Heritage Preservation moderated this Online Community in cooperation with the American Association for State and Local History and with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In January 2015, with the reorganization of Heritage Preservation, the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation took over the site and the name changed to Connecting to Collections Care Online Community. In spite of the change in management, the goals for the Online Community remain the same and we will continue to bring you quality resources, dynamic training, and active communications. .

Our goal is to help smaller museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies get answers to collections care questions, help organizations to quickly locate reliable preservation resources, and to help staff members network with their colleagues. We know how many responsibilities you have and how helpful it can be to network with conservation professionals and museums and library colleagues. This online community will be a source of solid information and, occasionally, inspiration to help you make the right connections to care for your collections.

When a concern arises about your collection, you need answers quickly. You don’t have time to wade through a lot of research. And you need reliable information—a Google search on “paintings conservation” returns a quarter million hits—some reputable, others less so. In the Resources page of the Connecting to Collections Care Online Community, you will find links to preservation information from leading conservators, as well as to earlier archived C2C presentations, courses, Online Community discussions, and new resources and webinars produced for Connecting to Collections Care.

The home page will regularly feature a resource and an opportunity to interact with its authors and other experts through webinars in the Meeting Room. You do not need to be a registered member of the community to use the resources or to sign up for a webinar. The Calendar will list upcoming webinars and other related materials such as grant deadlines.

If you have a question, you can post it in the Discussions page if you are a registered member of the community with a password. It is quick and easy to register. Once registered you will be able to make connections with other professionals, participate in discussions, and choose how you want be notified about updates on the page. We have designed the page to take full advantage of social networking but you are welcome to share as little or as much information as you wish.

Keep in mind that this site is a source for conservation information rather than advice. Although we will have conservators participating in the conversation, it is not ethical for them to provide treatment advice without first having examined the object or situation in person. We hope that participants will share their experiences with caring for objects, but note that it is recommended that you contact a professional conservator before undertaking a conservation project. The American Institute for Conservation can help locate a conservator near you.

Lack of funding and public understanding can be an obstacle to appropriate collections care. This Community will encourage sharing of ideas for securing gifts, grants, and media attention. We believe collections care can be a great asset to your fund raising and public outreach!


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