Stabilize this!


Collection managers may have to wear many hats and one important aspect of the job is ensuring that collections are available for use, whether that be exhibit or research, now as well as far into the future. Knowing when preventive care methods may be enough and when interventive treatment is necessary is an essential skill. What must a non-conservator know in order to choose materials that are safe and stable? This workshop will discuss approaches to stabilization challenges for several collection types, giving tips to deal with some of the issues frequently found in preserving archive, herbaria, paleontology,entomology and archaeology/ethnology collections. Participants will have opportunity to practice with preservation materials appropriate for triage and their long-term implications will be discussed. By the end of the workshop participants will be familiar with using appropriate adhesives, know when creating a rehousing solutions might suffice, and when to simply leave well enough alone.


Course Packet

Download course packet here.


Learning objectives:

Specific curricula criteria will include but not be limited to the following:

  • Workflow issues in processing specimens from the field onto the shelf
  • best practices
  • Labeling/marking specimens/artifacts
  • Choosing an appropriate adhesive for simple repairs
  • Rehousing

At the end of the workshop participants should:

  • Be able to identify some of the common stabilization problems seen in archive, herbaria, entomology, paleontology and archaeology/ethnology collections
  • Be familiar with several adhesives appropriate for each collection type
  • Be comfortable preparing the adhesive in the appropriate form and quantity
  • Have a chance to experience adhesive application techniques
  • Understand the difference between an adhesive and a consolidant
  • Identify when a rehousing solution might be more appropriate than an interventive treatment
  • Understand how to mass produce safe rehousing soutions
  • Understand options for labeling/marking a wide variety of materials
  • Be familiar with major preservation supply vendors

Proposed Instructors

Theresa Fairbanks Harris – Chief Conservator of Works on Paper, Yale Center for British Art & Yale University Art Gallery
Catherine Sease – Chief Conservator, Yale Peabody Museum
Marilyn Fox – Preparator, Yale Peabody Museum
Rachael Perkins Arenstein – Conservator, A.M. Art Conservation, LLC
Christine McCarthy – Chief Conservator, Preservation,Yale University Libraries
Meaghan Monaghan – Conservation Fellow, Yale University Art Gallery



Anyone responsible for the care and preservation of collections including Collection Managers, Registrars and Pre-program conservators


Proposed schedule:

9:00 – 10:30 INTRODUCTION 
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:45 SESSION 1 (2 hours)
12:45 – 1:45 Lunch
1:45 – 3:45 SESSION 2 (2 hours)
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:00 WRAP UP