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Collections Care Manual

Welcome to the Western Australian Museum’s Collections Care Manual, an online resource developed for smaller organisations and private collectors.

A series of 12 instructional videos and an updated version of the bestselling book Conservation and Care of Collections provides information on general conservation techniques.

This resource acts as a practical guideline. Remember to always contact a professional conservator when dealing with objects of particular concern.


"The cover for the Box Making video module."

Learn how to make a simple box to appropriately store a collection item.

Included in this video module is a detailed list of required equipment, and a box and lid template available for download.

"The cover for the Dust and Brush Vacuuming video module."

Dust causes damage to items within collections.

This video demonstrates how dust can be removed through brush vacuuming.

"The cover for the Freezing Objects video module."

Freezing is a simple, cheap, and safe method that can be used to kill insect infestations within collections.

Learn the best practice for freezing using easily obtainable equipment.

"The cover for the Handling Objects video module."

Poor handling techniques cause far more damage to collection items than any other factor.

This video provides basic instruction on how to safely handle objects within your collection.

"The cover for the Integrated Pest Management video module."

Organic materials found within collections makes them highly attractive to insects.

Provided are instructions on creating your own Integrated Pest Management program to monitor and prevent insect activity.

"The cover for the Labelling video module."

Having objects labelled can help to protect them. It allows for quicker and easier identification, reducing object handling time.

This topic provides information on creating an appropriate and consistent labelling system.

"The cover for the Light Control video module."

Although light damage occurs slowly, the damage caused is irreversible.

Learn how to monitor light levels and prevent light damage within your collection.

"The cover for the Mould video module."

Techniques such as freezing, object isolation, and brush vacuuming can help to treat a mould outbreak.

Watch this video to learn how to identify and safely treat a mould problem.

"The cover for the Storage Basics video module."

There are basic storage guidelines that will help to maintain appropriate collection conditions.

This video will showcase some of these key principles while addressing common storage problems.

"The cover for the Storage Materials video module."

A key element to looking after collection objects is ensuring that the correct package materials are being used.

This information will provide an outline of the most suitable storage materials for collection use.

"The cover for the Temperature and Relative Humidity video module."

Stable temperature and relative humidity levels can help to prevent damage to items.

Explore this topic to learn how to implement suitable environmental conditions in your collection.

"The cover for the Textile Storage video module."

Textiles and costumes require specific storage techniques.

This video will demonstrate the best way to care for, and store textiles to ensure their longevity.

Digitised Book

"The cover for the digitised version of Conservation and Care of Collections."

Presented is a digitised edition of Conservation and Care of Collections.

The original text was compiled by the WA Museum's Department of Materials Conservation in 1998, edited by Ian Godfrey and David Gilroy. 

This updated version provides an in-depth range of information for both institutions and individuals caring for collections.