Preventive Conservation Primer

Preventive conservation includes any measure that can be taken to prevent or mitigate damage to collections. Preventive conservation is the most powerful preservation tool that collections stewards have because it focuses on whole collections rather than individual objects. The following sections introduce the five pillars of preventive conservation: policies and practices; environmental management; housing, storage, and space, housekeeping; pest management; and emergency preparedness. Resources that expand on these topics are included at the end of the article.

Updated July 2022.