Skip to content

Cyclical Maintenance and Housekeeping

Cyclical maintenance and housekeeping are mostly non-invasive planned efforts carried out on a regular basis to prolong the life of an historic building or collection to avoid destruction or costly repairs. The Alliance has compiled this set of resources on cyclical maintenance and housekeeping from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

Museum Junction

The Alliance’s online community provides a place to foster dialogue and ask and answer questions about museum practice.

Sample Documents

Tier 3 museum members can access a number of sample cyclical maintenance/housekeeping policies from other museums.

Other Resources

The following resources were compiled from organizations throughout the nonprofit and museum sector. AAM reviewed and approved each one based on the organization’s authority and expertise and the resource’s usefulness related to the topic. Clicking the links below will take you off the AAM website.

Cleaning Books and Shelves

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) provides a technical leaflet with procedures for cleaning books and shelves. It includes a list of supplies.

Cleaning Practices

The Minnesota Historical Society offers guidelines on cleaning practices for storage and display areas, floors, shelves, and collections items (PDF, 5 pages).

Collection Housekeeping Guide

The Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts’ (CCAHA) collection housekeeping guide covers scheduling and has a helpful chart for when to conduct certain housekeeping tasks.

Covid-19 Basics: Disinfecting Cultural Resources

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training webinar with Dr. Mary Striegel covers how to properly disinfect cultural resources. Dr. Striegel answers five important questions, including what is the Covid-19 virus, how long does it persist on surfaces, how do we deactivate the virus, what about historic materials, and what safety precautions do we need?

Museum Housekeeping

The National Park Service’s (NPS) Museum Handbook (PDF) has a 27-page chapter on museum housekeeping. It offers guidelines for developing a housekeeping plan and includes sample forms and a bibliography.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.