Collection Preservation Tips

Information is provided on these pages which may be useful in the preservation and storage of your archival records and objects at home or in an archival storage situation, that may help to preserve your objects, documents and photographic records for future generations.

"Behind the Scenes" at the National Library of Australia

Found this NLA staff blog today (April 13th 2013), called Behind the Scenes has some great topics on many facets of collections and preservation.

Book Preservation

The first one I viewed was about re-attaching the spine of a book - see "A Day in the Life of the Bindery".


One of the best means of preservation is to digitise collections - Digital Preservation allows the original object to be less impacted by handling. Once in a digital format the digital copies can be viewed instead of the original being handled. Read more about KHS's Digitisation processes, to build a digital archive, which was first started with an empty hard drive circa 2006, building on a few text format files that Margaret Lawson had typed up about the collection prior to 2003. From this handful of documents we now have about a Terabyte (1000 Gigabytes) of data as a digital archive in 2013. Go to the KHS Digitisation page.

If you manage a collection, and interested to research further there is some great up to date information available from the National Library of Australia's Staff Papers. from 

Museum Object Preservation Video

Our friends at the WA Police Historical Society, the NT Police Museum & Historical Society, and others, will be interested to see the following video. KHS has been a member of the ArchivesLive (Australian Society of Archivists) web group for the past year. They recently sent an email with a link to an interesting video about collection storage, which is a great resource for showing a high standard of collection storage. Worth viewing for anyone, as an education on the high standards of collection storage and preservation to aim for, so have embedded the video here.

The video is in two sections; The first part focusing "On-Site at the Koori Heritage Trust Collection Store" and the other, "On-Site at the Victorian Police Museum Collection Store." The video(s) was produced by the Museums Australia, Victoria. (KHS is also a member of Museums Australia WA)

[Notes above from KHS President - 27/7/2012]

Digital Disaster Recovery

Read about the recovery from a recent KHS digital archive hard drive disaster and how you can sometimes recover lost data. If you lose data DO NOT write anything further to that drive! - Read more about Digital Disaster Recovery from

Preventative Conservation of Your Photographs and Documents

Read a separate page about Preserving Your Photographs and Documents, and another about using oven bags as "preventative conservation" measures for your documents and photographs.

Water Damaged Documents and Photographs

Read about Water Damage to collections, concerning mould (or Mold) and links to YouTube videos on how to deal with water damaged collections, prepared by "Preservation Australia."

The best thing to do is avoid water damage by preventive measures, especially in flood prone areas. Have a disaster plan ready. Have all your documents of significance in a ready state for evacuation.

Too late? - View the YouTube video links on Water Damage to collections, to learn how to deal with wet documents.

Try and deal with wet documents quickly! Preferably within 24 hours of being wet. If you cannot deal with them immediately you can put them into freezer bags and freeze them until you get time to deal with them.

Metadata in Images

IMPORTANT for all collecting institutions in how to embed information about images directly into a JPG image file.  What is metadata in images?

How to batch process to embed metadata into multiple images (follow the link above).

Because of the constant transient nature of Kununurra's population in the past 50 years, KHS Archive, Library, Museum & Research facility is actively seeking archives from past residents. If you have archival material in the way of photographs, documents, books or other objects, which you would like to be preserved locally for the future in KHS's purpose built archive facility, please Contact KHS.