Conservation guidelinesNgā tohutohu tiaki taonga

Learn how to care for your collections and report their condition.

On this page:

Conservation and collection care
Condition reporting
Conservation material suppliers
Applying accession numbers

Conservation and collection care

Preventive conservation

How do you safeguard the items in your museum? This guide, from National Services Te Paerangi, looks at practical steps you can take to ensure the protection, safety, and security of your collection.

Preventive Conservation – He Rauemi Resource Guide (1.13 MB)

New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Materials (NZCCM)

Use the detailed online directory on the NZCCM website to find a specialist conservator.

New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Materials

Te Papa’s guides to caring for collection objects

From other experts

National Library of New Zealand: Caring for your collections offers advice on caring for a range of objects, including photographs, books, and recordings.

Canadian Conservation Institute: Notes offers practical advice on the care, handling, and storage of cultural objects.


Use our step-by-step guide to nesting an object (2.04 MB)

when storing fragile objects.


See the storage areas of several small museums in this video by Museums Australia (Victoria).

Building conservation

Damage from a burst water pipe? Or devastation by earthquake, fire, or flood? Is your museum ready for disaster? This guide, from National Services Te Paerangi, looks at how to plan for recovery from emergencies.

Minimising Disaster – He Rauemi Resource Guide (1.09 MB)

From other experts

Customising Your Classic Wharenui (70.47 KB)

is a seminar talk by Dean Whiting.

Heritage New Zealand offers a range of resources concerning historic places.

Videos by the Northeast Museum Services Center look at the care of historic sites.

Condition reporting

Condition reporting is a valuable tool for managing collections. This guide offers a systematic approach to reviewing the condition of items in your collection, a consistent framework, and a set of terms for making useful reports.

Condition Reporting – He Rauemi Resource Guide (395.87 KB)

Condition reporting form template (157.14 KB)

Conservation material suppliers

Suppliers of conservation treatment and packaging include:

For suppliers of acid-free tissue and acid-free card, aluminium rod and custom-made hooks, Dacron wadding, ethafoam, tailors’ forms and mannequins, tubes, Tyvek, and gloves, see page 13 of our guide:

Caring for Textiles and Clothing – He Rauemi Resource Guide (1.19 MB)

Applying accession numbers

Learn how to apply accession numbers to non-porous stone, glazed ceramics, glass, and uncoated metals with this guide from National Services Te Paerangi, or watch our videos below.

Applying an accession number (552.94 KB)

How-to videos: