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Object Marking

Ensuring that an individual object can be located and associated with its various documentation is an important element of collections management. Knowing how best to mark various types of materials is essential in preserving an object for future generations. 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.

Watch this video from the Sustainable Heritage Network with conservators at the Arizona State Museum, Nancy Odegaard and Gina Watkinson, as they discuss and illustrate good and bad labeling techniques.


The Paleontology Portal of the American Museum of Natural History provides a useful resource on labeling paleontological materials in museum collections.

Labeling artifacts

Watch Marnie Leist, registrar of the Alutiiq Museum, demonstrate how to label artifacts in this YouTube video.

Labelling and Marking Museum Objects Booklet

The United Kingdom’s Collections Trust shares its booklet on labeling and marking museum objects.

Museum Handbook Appendix J: Marking

The National Park Service shares a chapter from its Museum Handbook on marking museum objects.

A Simple Guide to Labelling Museum Objects

The Powerhouse Museum created an easy-to-use guide on labeling museum objects.

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