Arsenic in Collections

If you have suspicions that arsenic may be present in your collection, this webinar will review methods for detection, personal protective equipment, and how to work with these collections safely and effectively. Examples of the types of objects that contain arsenic, either through application of residual pesticides or by manufacture, include medicinal kits, geological specimens, dyed textiles, Indigenous materials with a museum history, and natural history specimens. This webinar builds from the Connecting to Collections, 2016’s “Arsenic and Old Lace: Controlling Hazardous Collection Materials” and will include and expand pertinent information.


Fran Ritchie, Conservator, National Park Service

Fran Ritchie is a Conservator for the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry Center who focuses on organic materials and has a particular specialty in the care and preservation of natural history collections. She has treated and restored taxidermy in museums across the United States, including the American Museum of Natural History, Zion National Park, Biltmore Estate, the Center of the West, and the Alaska State Museum. A graduate of the art conservation program at Buffalo State College (M.A., C.A.S.), she has also taught graduate students at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and led workshops at several meetings of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation and the Chair of the Conservation Committee for the Society for Preservation of Natural History Collections.


Recording September 6, 2026 Duration 1 hour 8 minutes