How do I? - help sheets

Find information on a wide range of topics relevant to the practice of history, running museums, collections management and conservation. Search by keyword, category or tagged topic to locate the information you are seeking. Each helpsheet relates to an area of the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries (NSAMG).

Storage and Handling

Appropriate object handling and storage practices make a big difference to the longevity of collection items.  This help sheet relates to standards C2.2 and C2.3 of the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries and contains useful general collection handling guidelines and information about storage methods and materials.

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Housekeeping schedule

Museums and collection items do need cleaning. The Housekeeping schedule provides a method for planning cleaning activities in both display and storage areas.  Housekeeping activities can be very time consuming so it is worth taking the time to work out what needs to be cleaned, how often and using what methods and resources.

This helpsheet provides a template and guidelines for planning housekeeping activities for collections and museums.

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Historical research: an investigative treasure hunt

Whether you are gathering background information about objects in your collection or working towards a display, guided tour or educational program, sound research is essential. Developing good research skills and practices will ensure you find the most accurate and most interesting information, and take advantage of the widest possible range of sources. It will make research more enjoyable and rewarding and will result in a better end product.

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Donation form example

Donation forms formalise the donation of an item or group of items into a collection.  They are an important record of how an item/s came into the collection and are also the means by which the collecting organisation takes legal ownership of items and gains the right to use those items for its purposes.

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Display techniques and supports

Appropriate object supports, display materials and techniques are important factors in designing and developing displays.used when displaying collection items. Displaying items incorrectly and without proper support over an extended period of time can cause irreparable damage.

This Help Sheet introduces some principles for safe and effective display of items. It also provides basic guidelines for identifying items that require support, and for making and using appropriate supports.

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Cultural sensitivity warning examples

This help sheet provides guidance with developing appropriate cultural sensitivity warnings that museums and archives can use to alert visitors to potentially distressing content.

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Display interpretation and writing

Writing for displays and interpreting objects, places and themes is a rewarding task but can be tricky.  The help sheet provides information and ideas about interpreting objects, buildings and places, tips for developing themes, stories and messages for interpretation and some nuts and bolts about writing well for displays.

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Conservation, preservation and restoration definitions

Conservation, preservation and restoration are terms that are commonly used by museums. The terms are not interchangeable and it is essential to understand the difference between them. This help sheet provides some clear definitions of these terms.

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Managing pests in the collection: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

We are all familiar with the type of damage pests can do. Moths in the wardrobe, termites in the floor, mice in the pantry - pests can damage both buildings and collections, sometimes destroying them completely.

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Worker policy: guidelines to writing

This Help Sheet will assist you with writing a Worker policy.

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