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Collection Assessment and Preservation
Among the interest groups - numbering 74 and growing - that you can join at The Museum Resource Network, are the "Museum Conservation & Preservation" and the "Collections Management" groups whose members are discussing topics that may interest you.
Welcome to the Illinois Collections Preservation Network!
The Illinois Collections Preservation Network (ICPN) was made possible by a Connecting to Collections grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action is a multi-year, multi-faceted national initiative funded by IMLS to help libraries and museums achieve the best possible care for their collections.
The Connecting to Collections initiative is a call to action, spurring activity at the local, state and national level to care for America's collections. This video was developed to underscore the importance of collections held in museums, libraries and archives throughout the U.S., and to inspire communities to take action. ("Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action" video produced by Watertown Productions for IMLS and Heritage Preservation.)
Illinois' heritage collections are at risk!
Illinois heritage collections include irreplaceable works of art, artifacts, historical objects, books, documents, maps, photographs, audio and video tapes, digital records, and scientific specimens that document our state's unique cultural and natural heritage. Many of these objects are at risk from natural hazards, human-made problems, inadequate environmental controls, unexpected calamities, and the inevitable processes of deterioration.
The ICPN is a collaboration of 15 partner institutions and numerous individual and institutional members who want to minimize the risks. Our mission is to “ensure the long-term preservation of collections in Illinois that document cultural and natural heritage for the education and enrichment of present and future generations.” In 2011 Illinois was one of six states to be awarded a Connecting to Collections grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In order to aid employees and volunteers of collection-holding facilities (e.g., museums, libraries, archives, historical societies) in caring for their collections, ICPN is creating a network of people and providing resources like workshops, assessment kits, training webcasts, and this website. We hope to engage you in this conversation about preserving our state's valuable objects and thereby ensure their longevity. We welcome both your preservation tips and your questions.
Conservation professionals are bound by the American Institute for Conservation's (AIC) code of ethics and standards to adhere to various laws and regulations; and, to be respectful not only of the items they are treating, but also of an object's cultural importance. While treating each object with materials and methods appropriate to the object's properties, the conservator must also be cognizant of future needs to access the object for research, public display, cultural purposes, and future conservation. Techniques need to be reversible; and, sometimes the best treatment is no treatment.