Connecting to Collections

The Connecting to Collections Care Online Community is a place where smaller cultural institutions can quickly find trusted and reliable answers and resources to help them take better care of their collections. When a concern arises about your collection, you can search this website for information, resources, links to preservation information from leading conservators, as well as access to recorded webinars and discussions. Access to all of the information, resources, and webinars in this Community is free.

Inclusive Historians Handbook 

This dynamic reference source supports inclusive and equity-focused historical work in public settings by:

  • Sharing a knowledge base that invites more people to engage in history projects.
  • Providing concrete examples of how to make history work more relevant.
  • Centering equity, inclusivity, diversity, and public service.
  • Offering accessible windows into the many ways public historians work.

The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook is co-sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) and the National Council on Public History (NCPH). It aligns with AASLH’s and NCPH’s goals of building diversity and inclusion across the historical community.

Deaccessioning is the act of permanently removing an object from the collection. It is the opposite of accessioning. Deaccessioning is acceptable as long as it done legally, ethically and follows museum standards and best practices. In order to be good stewards of collections, deaccessioning is essential.


-Inventories: How to Handle Undocumented Objects, Deaccessioning and Direct Care 
PowerPoint, 2017 Annual Conference
-Deaccession Handout, Connecting to Collections
-Deaccessioning and Capitalization of Collections, AASLH Blog Post
-Technical Bulletin, Deaccessioning Done Right, Oklahoma Museums Association
-Direct Care of Collections Ethics Guidelines and Recommendations, AAM
-Technical Leaflet, Cleaning House: A Guide to Deaccessioning Abandoned Property, AASLH (fee)

The Museum Disposition of Property Act
This act provides for the disposition of property loaned to museums, archives, and libraries. 
Before any material from a collection is recommended for deaccessioning, reasonable efforts should be made to determine whether an institution has the legal authority to do so (Deed of Gift or documented time in collection). The previous statement also applies to non-accessioned artifacts and considers the stipulations of Public Act 24 of the Michigan Public Acts of 1992: The Museum Disposition of Property Act. This act provides for the disposition of property loaned to museums, archives, and libraries and only applies in certain circumstances.

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. To see a list of Blue Star Museums in Michigan or to sign up, click here 

Great Lakes Fisheries Trail

Great Lakes fishery heritage – past, present and future – explores the life of the lakes in a new way. Ecologically, economically, and recreationally viable through time, people and communities continue to interact with these amazing fisheries today. The Great Lakes fishery is a story of people, fish, and fishing. It demonstrates how we relate to aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, water quality, and environmental change. The fishery is the thread running through all these, serving as a gauge of resource sustainability and quality of life. Great Lakes fisheries heritage sites throughout Michigan offer residents and visitors a unique opportunity to explore and experience the dynamic social, technological, and environmental changes that have shaped today’s fishery.

Sustaining Places

Sustaining Places is a collaborative resource project from the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware and the Tri-State Coalition of Historic Places. This site is supported by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services’ 21st Century Museum Professionals Program. The purpose of this website is to collect examples of good ideas and best practices for small historical organizations. We are always adding new resources to our annotated bibliographies, as well as producing and posting new project videos and two-minute techniques. These are made by numerous contributors, including Sustaining Places graduate assistants and Museum Studies graduate students, often with the assistance of a historic site or museum staff.


The National Art Education Association (NAEA) Museum Education Division and its partner, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), have completed a large-scale impact study investigating the question: What are the benefits of facilitated single-visit art museum programs, guided by inquiry-based pedagogies, for students in Grades 4–6?

This study builds on, and significantly amplifies, the limited prior research that existed about the impact of art museum programs on participants. The goal has been to explore, on a large scale, how engaging directly with original works of art within the distinctive physical and social setting of art museums and through constructivist pedagogies, might lead to or heighten a range of student outcomes. The findings of this study are now available. 

National Preservation Institute 

The National Preservation Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1980, educates those involved in the management, preservation, and stewardship of cultural heritage.  NPI is proud to serve a broad spectrum of professionals from government and the private sector by providing training through its seminars in historic preservation and cultural resource management.

Kutsche Office of Local History

The Kutsche Office of Local History is home to the Local History Roundtable as well as different projects helping local groups and people preserve, protect and retain history that is important to them.  This is accomplished through oral histories, supervised internships and fellowships, faculty directed projects and the work of experts in their specific fields.

Together these programs support the mission of the Kutsche Office in fostering an appreciation of the common challenges, common destiny, and common humanity of all of us. This is accomplished in part by bringing members of the West Michigan community, students and faculty together to share knowledge and resources about topics of common interest, building an understanding of history that is both exciting and relevant in today’s challenging times.

Museum Assessment Program

The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) helps small and mid-sized museums strengthen operations, plan for the future and meet national standards through self-study and a site visit from a peer reviewer. IMLS-funded MAP grants are non-competitive and provide $4,000 of consultative resources and services to participating museums.

Conservation Assessment Program

CAP is a federally-funded program that provides professional conservation assessments for small to mid-sized museums of all types. The program also funds historic buildings assessments for institutions with buildings that are 50 years or older. The assessment process helps museum professionals improve their institutions’ conservation policies and procedures, learn conservation and historic preservation best practices, and establish relationships with conservators and historic structures assessors. The resulting CAP report helps museums to develop strategies for improved collections care, long-range planning, staff and board education, and fund-raising. CAP is administered by Heritage Preservation and supported through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Applications are available on Heritage Preservation’s Web site at

Michigan Collections Network 

A network interested in preserving and providing access to print and digital library and archive collections. 

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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