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COVID-19 Resources

A COVID-19 Research Partnership to Develop Guidelines for Reopening Collections

Many AIC members have expressed health and safety concerns for both staff and visitors when museums, libraries, and archives gradually resume operations. Questions remain about the viability of the COVID-19 virus on paper and plastics in circulating collections, as well as on surfaces that are repeatedly touched, such as interactive screens and headphones. 

I am delighted, therefore, that AIC has been invited to serve on the Steering Committee of the recently announced IMLS initiative, COVID-19 Research Partnership to Inform Safe Handling of Collections, Reopening Practices for Libraries, Museums

In this capacity, AIC, represented by Executive Director Eryl Wentworth, will assist the IMLS, OCLC (a non-profit global library cooperative), and Battelle (a non-profit scientific research organization) as they evaluate and develop guidelines on how to handle materials, training, and cleaning in a lessened, but still persistent, COVID-19 presence. Other associations and collecting institutions on the Steering Committee include the American Alliance for Museums, the Association of Science and Technology Centers, National Archives and Records Administration, the Children’s Museums Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and the American Library Association, among others.

AIC will continue to update this page (COVID-19 Resources) and keep it linked from our homepage. The IMLS Research Partnership is working for the rapid release of information in the coming weeks.  We are united in our desire to provide access to collections, while insuring everyone’s wellbeing. 

Margaret Holben Ellis

Going Back to Work

Back to Work Safety 

  • Sponsored by AIHA, this site features expert, industry-specific guidance for both businesses and consumers to safely re-open and re-engage as they emerge from the COVID-19 quarantines. The links offer specific, easy-to-follow, science-based recommendations for limiting the transmission of the coronavirus while operating a wide variety of businesses, including restaurants, retail outlets, and hair and nail salons. These guidelines were developed for those smaller business that don't have readily available occupational health and safety resources. We encourage employers, employees, and customers to carefully read and implement as many of the recommendations contained in the guidance document provided for your industry as possible.


The following resources were compiled to assist conservators and collections care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, we advise all to follow the advice of federal, state, and local public health officials.

We are including resources for individuals and small business owners toward the end of this page.

Collection Care Resources


#covidcollectionscare on Twitter
  • Hashtag started by the National Endowment for the Humanities used “for resources and information regarding what cultural heritage practitioners can do to mitigate and secure collections during pandemic for all aspects of collection care."

Collections Care in the Age of COVID-19 Facebook Live event - FAIC Connecting to Collections Care

  • Recording of a Facebook Live event held on April 2, 2020, in which participants posed questions to a panel that included preservation librarians, conservators, and other experts.

Scholarly Research - Taylor & Francis Group

  • Publisher Taylor & Francis is providing free access and expedited online publishing of scholarly research related to COVID-19.

Disinfecting Cultural Resources, Personal Protective Equipment, and Re-Entry to Cultural Sites - National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

  • Three videos (Spanish translation available) guiding staff at cultural sites on disinfecting, selecting and wearing PPE, and how to re-open sites.

Handling Library Materials and Collections During a Pandemic - American Library Association

  • Compilation of resources meant to assist libraries, institutions, and archives during a pandemic.

Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID-19 Pandemic - CCI Technical Note

  • This technical note, prepared by the CCI COVID-19 Task Force, compiles information and recommendations to help those responsible ensure that collections and heritage materials remain safe. They hosted a webinar on the same topic.


MNHS Workplace Historic Properties Enhanced Cleaning Guidance for COVID-19 (1) - Minnesota Historical Society
  • Example of a cleaning plan from one institution.
The Impact of Hand Sanitizers on Collection Materials - Library of Congress
  • Summary of outcomes from research on deterioration caused by hand sanitizer.
Disinfecting Books and Other Collections - Northeast Document Conservation Center
  • Technical leaflet from NEDCC on disinfecting collections.
Isolating, Disinfecting, and Cleaning Historic Materials - National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
  • Transcripted video presentation explaining cleaning methods for historic materials.
Best Practices for Cleaning Play and Learn Spaces - Association for Library Service to Children
  • Protocols for cleaning children’s spaces. Could also be applied to any heavily touched surfaces of your museum.

Emergency Plans/Disaster Preparedness

Public Health Emergencies - COSTEP Massachusetts
  • A well-curated resource on many aspects of cultural heritage emergency management including vetted guidance on caring for collections.

Managing Your Museum's Pandemic Response: Activating Your Emergency Response - Alberta Museums Association
  • A guide to implanting your emergency plan during a pandemic.

Preparing a Museum for Closure or Reopening

Closing a Museum for the Winter - Canadian Conservation Institute
  • Guide that includes a checklist for closing a museum for an extended period of time. 
Long-Term Closure Re-Entry Checklist for Cultural Institutions and Collections Care Stewards - Rebecca Kennedy, Curae Collections Care, LLC, and Anne Young, Newfields
  • Checklist template for staff and public re-entry into an institution following long-term closure.
Reopening Museums: A Planning Tool - Adrian Ellis, AEA Consulting and Global Cultural Districts Network, and András Szántó, András Szántó LLC
  • Checklist of ideas for museums to consider when re-opening, including considerations for staff safety and mental health.


NEH Offers Emergency Relief Funding to Cultural Institutions Affected by Coronavirus

  • New CARES Act program offers up to $300,000 grants to stabilize humanities organizations nationwide.

Individual & Small Business Resources

Health & Safety

Facemasks and Virus Protection - AIC Health & Safety Committee
  • Explanation of the committee's recommendation against making your own face mask or wear a surgical face mask to protect yourself against coronavirus infection.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Resources

Small Business Assistance

Economic Injury Disaster Loan - Small Business Administration
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is making low interest loans, up to $2 million dollars, available to nonprofits and small businesses to recover from economic injury from coronavirus.

Connect with help or offer help during COVID-19

  • This blog post collects information to connect you to small business assistance, mental health support, information about unemployment benefits, and volunteer opportunities.


Online Resources for Conservation Research

  • This blog post details resources supported by both AIC and FAIC to further the exchange of knowledge in the field.

Scholarly Research - Taylor & Francis Group

  • Publisher Taylor & Francis is providing free access and expedited online publishing of scholarly research related to COVID-19.