Collections Storage Management Workshop

Storage has been a constant area of crisis in many organisations for a long time, and this situation is not improving. Every kind of heritage organisation needs to store their objects and items in a way that they will be preserved as best as possible over the long term. Most organisations hold the bulk of their collections in storage, including physical storage and archival storage, with only a small amount being used in exhibitions or in research or teaching situations.

In many cases the storage areas are severely challenged, being disorganised, overcrowded, with unaccessioned and uncategorised items, and lacking the right environment to suit the preservation of the items. All these storage areas require specialised management as part of the larger collection management framework of policies and procedures.

This workshop will outline a range of strategies and processes that will help organisations achieve best-practice in storage management. To set up a perfect environment for storage is costly, but there are a range of opportunities available for museums, archives and libraries on any level of budget.

Who should attend

  • All heritage professionals (e.g. curators, collections managers) who deal with storage of collections
  • Anyone who is interested in learning the best techniques for collection storage management and equipment

Topics to be covered

Within this workshop on storage management workshop you will learn:

  • policies, procedure and long term vision : developing a collections storage policy – what it contains and how to enforce it
  • the perfect storage system
  • location Audits and Collections Audits : how to audit your storage, building up an action list
  • locations and their current contents
  • issues of storage space, threats to collections
  • access to collections and moving collections
  • furniture, equipment and storage containers : the nature of packing and storage racking, containers, and furniture
  • documentation systems, accession register : how to record information about your storage locations, and how to identify and encode locations
  • environmental monitoring
  • how to create a storage improvement plan for reorganising your storage, and how to get buy-in for this and build a team
  • using volunteers effectively in improving your storage
  • how to control pests
  • how to clean storage areas
  • how to budget and finance storage
  • how to manage risks in storage and how to protect storage against common risks
  • how to structure the storage for ease of access, finding, and movement
  • how to handle storage of hazardous items and materials and other items that may have safety and health considerations
  • how to store electronic and digital collections
  • how to address security and access control for storage areas

Workshop activities

  • Evaluation of your current storage systems
  • Group discussion of case studies, where key threats to storage will be identified and collection management plans for these organisations will be drawn up
  • Identify what equipment your organisation uses that is not sufficient, or may not be preserving objects adequately
  • Determine what equipment, storage containers, furniture your organisation needs to ensure good collections management


  • Storage problems in heritage institutions
  • Types of materials and equipment that will reduce risks to the collection through more effective conservation
  • Best practices approach to documentation
  • How to audit your locations and collections
  • How to make recommendations on and manage storage improvements
  • How to build and implement a storage management strategy

Pricing and Booking

Please check on our Workshop Pricing and Booking Process page for further information.