The role of a curator is to be an expert on the collection. On a practical level that can involve many different tasks, especially at a small institution. The curator may be involved with collections care, exhibit creation, fundraising, and more. This page contains practical general information that any curator needs to know about handling and labeling objects.

Creating a Curator’s Kit

To create a curator’s kit you should gather the following items:

  • Acetone for removing and cleaning marks
  • Soluvar for marking objects
  • Orvus Water Paste for cleaning
  • Hide glue for temporary furniture repairs
  • Tape measure
  • Flashlight
  • Permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Calcium Carbonate for cleaning objects
  • Denatured Alcohol for cleaning objects
  • Mineral spirits for removing and cleaning marks
  • Eraser
  • Cotton gloves
  • Nitril gloves
  • Fabric tape measure
  • Brushes for cleaning
  • Bone folder for turning pages and making creases
  • Archival spatula for lifting small or fragile objects
  • Tweezers for picking up objects

You may also wish to include cheese cloth for vacuuming, needles and thread, twill tape, archival pens, small plastic bags for storing loose parts, sharp scissors, brass safety pins, a PH testing pen, B-72, and acid free tags for objects identification.

Download this list as a pdf

Labeling Objects

Giving artifacts unique catalogue numbers and marking them is an important part of collection management. This two-minute techniques video will show you three different marking techniques.

Supply list for labeling objects