Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management.

Through lively group discussions and hands-on activities, you will become familiar with current issues and trends to better understand how collections fit within the context of history organizations.

The workshop will also explore the role of collections in exhibition and interpretation, the basic steps of collections management from acquisition to disposal, professional standards and ethics, conservation on a shoe-string budget, and the many resources available for collections preservation.

Click here for a copy of the tentative agenda.


History Colorado

History Colorado

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is targeted to new professionals and dedicated volunteers with responsibility for collections.




Helen Alten is the Director of Northern States Conservation Center and is the director of the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines, AK. For nearly 30 years she has been involved in objects conservation, starting as a pre-program intern at the Oriental Institute in Chicago and the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a degree in Archaeological Conservation and Materials Science from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London in England. She has built and run conservation laboratories in Bulgaria, Montana, Greece, Alaska and Minnesota. She has a broad understanding of three-dimensional materials and their deterioration, wrote and edited the quarterly Collections Caretaker, maintains the popular www.collectioncare.org web site, lectures throughout the United States on collection care topics, and is always in search of the perfect museum mannequin. She has published chapters on conservation and deterioration of archeological glass with the Materials Research Society and the York Archaeological Trust, four chapters on different mannequin construction techniques in Museum Mannequins: A Guide for Creating the Perfect Fit (2002), preservation planning, policies, forms and procedures needed for a small museum in The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums’ Collection Initiative Manual, and is co-editor of the penultimate book on numbering museum collections (still in process) by the Gilcrease Museum in Oklahoma. Helen Alten has been a Field Education Director, Conservator, and staff trainer.

Bethany Hawkins is Program Manager at the American Association for State and Local History. Prior to her work with AASLH, she was the director of a small historic house museum and oversaw all aspects of collections care from accessioning to cleaning to protecting from the raccoons. She has been at AASLH for ten years.

Visit our Calendar of Events to learn about more AASLH Continuing Education Opportunities.