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2020 11 20 NH 107.LR

Collections care training

This training resource focuses on the basics of caring for museum collections. It offers practical advice, shared good practice through case studies and demonstrations, and provides resources and links for further learning.

Welcome to our online collections care training resources

In response to COVID-19 we have adapted the National Training Programme to deliver a series of self-guided training resources for partner museums.

This resource is aimed at staff or volunteers new to caring for collections, or those looking for a refresher in the subject area.

The training strands below centre on the most in-demand elements of our training programme, which are object handling, object packing, object labelling and integrated pest management.

How to complete the training

1. Follow the resources

This training has been designed to be followed in order before putting it into practice, as good object handling is a cornerstone of good object packing. However, this resource will continue to be available online so you can learn at your own pace.

2. Go at your own pace

You will find a combination of media including images, videos and downloadable documents to use. It is not necessary for you to review all the contents at once, there are natural breaks between them that you may wish to use.  

3. Get in touch

In addition to this self-guided online training we provide other services including webinars to give you an opportunity to ask any questions arising from this training. Please contact for more details.  

Object handling

Museum objects are at greater risk of accidental damage when they are being handled or moved.  It is therefore important to know how to handle all objects in the correct and most appropriate way. 

In these resources you will:

  • Develop knowledge of the best practice standards used by museums when handling objects
  • Gain confidence in handling a variety of museum objects
  • Understand when to involve a specialist or use specialist equipment in object handling


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Object packing

To protect objects whilst in storage or being moved, they should be packed using best practice methods and materials.

In these resources you will:

  • Gain knowledge of the correct materials for object packing
  • Learn how to identify the most appropriate packing method for different museum objects


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Object labelling

A museum object must carry its own unique accession number at all times to ensure it can be easily linked to the information held within the museum's database. Correct object labelling is crucial in avoiding any risk of dissociation.

In these resources you will:

  • Find the most appropriate method to label different museum objects
  • Develop knowledge of the correct materials to label museum objects
  • Learn about best practice standards used by museums


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Integrated pest management

One of the risks to heritage collections are pests – that is insects, rodents, birds, or other animals that can cause harm to collections. To effectively combat this threat, heritage organisations have adopted the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) from the food and stored products industry.

In these resources you will:

  • Learn how to identify pests
  • Develop knowledge of the correct strategies to prevent infestation
  • Learn about best practice standards used by museums to monitor pests


Read more

Want to know more?

In addition to this self-guided training we provide other services including webinars to give you an opportunity to ask questions and meet our experts. Please contact us for more information.


License for reuse

These training pages are licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

We are delighted for you to reuse, build on and publish the training content in these pages for non-commercial purposes. When you do, we ask that you credit National Museums Scotland and share the content under the same licensing terms.

Creative Commons License

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