Contaminated Collections: Preservation, Access and Use

Contaminated Collections:Preservation, Access and Use, Preservation of Native American and Historical Natural History Collections Contaminated with Pesticide Residues
Source: Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC)

Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), Shepherdstown, West Virginia, April 6-9, 2001

On 6–9 April 2001, Native Americans and preservation professionals, scientists, public health officials, and attorneys participated in a symposium at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The purpose of the symposium was to jointly address various issues related to the use and repatriation of museum objects that may be contaminated with pesticides. This initiative was hosted by the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, the National Park Service, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Funding was provided by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, with additional support from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and the Department of Anthropology of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
The objectives of the symposium were:

  • To identify current scholarship regarding collections surveys, development of testing methods, risk assessment, and treatment of contaminated collections,
  • To determine additional research and training needs for safe use of historical natural history and ethnographic collections and repatriated Native American
    objects and create working groups to carry out the plans,
  • To help develop appropriate conservation strategies for the safe handling, storage and treatment of contaminated objects,
  • To encourage communication among the various stakeholders and disseminate information through publications and over the Internet.