Archives & Collections

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Managing your collections can seem like an overwhelming and potentially expensive undertaking, but there are many manageable solutions for your museum’s collections—both for your objects and your archival material. 

On this page, you’ll find resources for 3-dimensional objects and archival collections for both large and small institutions.

You might be asking yourself how is an archive different from a collection? 

According to this article by, an archive is “a place where people go to find information.” As simple as that is, it’s true. An archive is a place where firsthand facts, letters, records, memos, and all sorts of written information is stored and protected. 

For some smaller institutions, there is not enough of a difference in what they’re collecting to warrant having a distinct collection and archive.

Please note that some of these practices and procedures overlap with best practices in collections care, conservation and preservation, facilities, and disaster preparedness. For more information on those specific points, please see their individual pages on Sustaining Places.