COVID-19 Museums and Collections Resources

This page was last updated in December 2022. 

Care and upkeep of collections are important especially in times of health crisis, including health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This section contains resources for the care and usage of collections, and practices adapted to cleaning policies and procedures following COVID-19.

In light of changing guidelines as the pandemic progresses, we have revised this page to be more applicable to the pandemic in 2022, as well as other health related challenges and concerns. Below, we have gathered resources that remain relevant in the face of future pandemic crises, general cleanliness, and closing operations.

For more on general collections and museum management, see here.

For information about caring for online collections, see here. 

Cleaning and Collections care

Find resources below to guide you in caring for your collection while also maintaining proper cleaning procedures.

Results of tests performed by a consortium of the OCLC and IMLS on the viability of the COVID-19 on typical library, archive, and museum surfaces over time.

Sanitizing practices for institutions with play-places and hands-on children’s areas.

Basic overview of best practices for disinfecting cultural spaces and collections.

Cleaning and handling procedures for heritage collections.

Best practices for cleaning and safety with library collections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to care for historic buildings and museum spaces.

Building & Ground maintenance care

Find information below on how to care for and sanitize your outdoor spaces, with resources for institutions with gardens and animal collections.

Caring for outdoor spaces

Preparing buildings and collections for winter closures.

Guidance for operating and maintaining outdoor spaces, such as parks and trails.

Guidelines on cleaning outdoor artifacts and interpretive elements.

General guidance of safety procedures for institutions with gardens.

Reopening Procedures

Reopening outdoor museums and outdoor spaces.

Preparing buildings and collections for winter closures.