Preservation Publication Award: Lisa Elkin and Christopher A. Norris

Lisa Elkin, chief registrar and director of Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, and Christopher A. Norris, director of Public Programs, Yale Peabody Museum, are the 2020 recipients of the Preservation Publication Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) for their book, Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage (the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, The American Institute for Conservation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the George Washington University Museum Studies Program, 2019). The award recognizes the author or editor of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation.

As a collaborative work, it issues a comprehensive guide to collection storage by drawing on the efforts of four publishers and seven associate editors (Mary Coughlin, Catharine A. Hawks, John E. Simmons, Jude Southward, Sarah Stauderman Shelley Sturman, and Robert Waller). Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage written by over 110 subject specialists (from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan), defines and establishes standards for preservation, storage, and housing of collections and is a true compendium of preservation theory and practice. The last book to cover such a comprehensive topic was published nearly 25 years ago, and both ethical and practical considerations have evolved over time. Utilizing a risk management approach, covering storage for a variety of collections and media types in libraries, archives, museums, and digital collections, it is an indispensable reference book for archival practitioners, and will likely be used for years to come. Focused attention on special collection types and materials such as remains, digital collections, and many more are presented with thoughtfulness and a full understanding of current standards and practice. 

One of the editors’ supporters wrote, “The book will be useful to anyone in the field of collection care looking for an overview of collection storage – be it an established specialist, an emerging professional, or a student.”