Archival Training Resources Available Online

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Council of State Archivists

BACE: Basics of Archives Continuing Education program

The Basics of Archives Continuing Education (BACE) program provides training materials designed to introduce individuals who have responsibility for archival collections --but may never have received formal archival training -- to the basics of archives. This is a free online resource.

Idaho Commission for Libraries

Alternative Basic Library Education

The Alternative Basic Library Education (ABLE) Program is designed to help library staff members who have no formal education in library science to acquire the basic knowledge and skills needed to operate or work in a library. The program consists of workshops and online training. This is a free online resource.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center

Preservation 101 Online

Preservation 101 is an online course that will help you learn about the basics of preservation in the context of small and moderately-sized library or archival collections. This is a free online resource.

Archivists Association of British Columbia Toolkit

"Archivist's Toolkit"

The "Archivist's Toolkit" has been designed as a community resource for use by those working primarily in small and medium-sized archives in British Columbia, but much applies as well to US institutions. This is a free online resource.

The Getty Institute -- Introduction to Archival Organization and Description

This site provides a lot of terminology useful to the beginning archivist, and provides an over-the-shoulder view of the working archivist. This is a free online resource.

California Preservation Program

There are an increasing number of training tools available on the web for both general preservation awareness training and to address specific preservation topics. The presentations accessible from this website include PowerPoint and web-based tools and can be used with minor modification by libraries for training... For more tools see the individual sections of this website. This is a free online resource.

Canadian Conservation Institute -- Preserving my Heritage

This website has a guide to preserving family heirlooms. This is a free online resource.

National Archives -- Archives and Records Management Links

A series of links about preservation prepared by the National Archives. This is a list of links to free online resources.

Training the Trainer Resource Pack

This resource pack is intended for anyone who wants some guidance or direction in planning, organizing and delivering effective training for both professionals and support staff whatever their working or learning environment. The bulk of the pack addresses the various techniques for delivering training but it also covers the practical administrative tasks that are essential for successful training courses and which underpin the training content. This is a free online resource.

Lyrasis -- Online Courses on Digitization

Lists of online tutorials (for a fee) that guide one through the process of digitizing materials (of various formats). Different tutorials address a variety of issues, including digitization of oral history projects, projects on a large scale, and the use of ContentDM. These courses are offered both online and in person and require a fee.

Lyrasis -- Disaster Preparedness and Preservation Online Courses

Courses covering particular issues relating to preservation and disaster management. These courses are offered both online and in person and require a fee.

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)

A collection of documents about best practices and core competencies for conservation of historical documents and artifacts. This is a free online resource.

dPlan -- The Online Disaster-Planning Tool for Cultural and Civic Institutions

Disaster planning is an essential component of preserving your institution's collections. With a written disaster plan, libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other collection-holding institutions can reduce the risk of disaster and minimize losses. dPlan is perfect for small and medium-sized institutions that do not have in-house preservation staff. dPlan is also valuable for large library systems or museum campuses that need to develop separate but related plans for multiple buildings, locations, or branches. This is a free online resource.

National Trust for Historic Preservation -- Funding Sources List

The National Trust for Historic Preservation offers several types of financial assistance to nonprofit organizations, public agencies, for-profit companies, and individuals involved in preservation-related projects. This is a free online resource.

Society of American Archivists -- Conference/ Workshop Calendar

List of online and in-person workshops that are available through the SAA. Particular workshops can be requested! The workshops do require a fee.

Ready, Net, Go

A list of archival resources and links. This is a free online resource.

Northeast Document Conservation Center

Resources for family and private collections

Do you have cherished family collections? Are you the steward of a private collection? These links will guide you to information on preserving your collections. This is a free online resource.

Northeast Document Conservation Center

Preservation Leaflets

NEDCC provides printable preservation leaflets with information on a wide variety of preservation topics, supplier contact information, and links to additional resources. The leaflets may be downloaded at no cost.

Northeast Document Conservation Center

Preservation Toolkit

A series of online "classes" available for free. . . teaching all about preservation!

Council on Library and Information Resources

CLIR Technical Reports

This is a list of technical and educational reports available for free download. Focuses on digital preservation issues and technology issues in archives and libraries.

Council on Library and Information Resources

Library Preservation and Conservation

This tutorial is geared toward Southeast Asia, but has a lot of practical advice that is certainly applicable to the Southeast United States! It is well-organized and easy to follow. This is a free online resource.

NAGARA -- Publications List

This section of the web site contains a library of uploaded publications that are organized by functional category. For more details on a specific category, refer to that category web site page. To link to specific publications, go to the drop-down menu to the right.

National Preservation Institute -- Seminars

List of seminars and instructional forums hosted by the NPI. These seminars are offered for a fee.

American Association of State and Local History

Resources Links

Several sets of links to topics like "National Resources," "Regional Resources," and "Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Aids." These resources are available for free.

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts

Instructional Videos on Audio-visual Preservation

CCAHA specializes in the treatment of art and historic artifacts on paper and provides preservation education, training, and consultation. Many of the machine-dependent audiovisual collections held by our cultural institutions are in peril. Therefore, it is crucial to have knowledge about the life expectancy and unique needs of our legacy media in order to make good preservation decisions. From wax cylinders, 78s, motion picture film, magnetic wire, and magnetic audiotapes, to LPs & 45s, audiocassettes, videotapes, and videocassettes, each format has a critical point at which information will begin to be lost. This site hosts a series of free videos on audio-visual preservation techniques.

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts -- Technical Bulletins

CCAHA specializes in the treatment of art and historic artifacts on paper and provides preservation education, training, and consultation. Includes a series of highly usable and well-written technical bulletins about preservation, with versions available in Spanish! These bulletins are available for free download.

National Park Service

National Center for Preservation Training and Technology

NCPTT protects America's historic legacy by equipping preservation professionals with progressive technology-based research and training. These courses require a fee ($450.00 plus).

American Records Managers and Administrators -- Resources

Lists of online resources, courses, and documents available covering digital records management and other issues (some courses require fees).

American Institute for Conservation of Historic or Artistic Works

Resource Center

Find useful information for the general public here. From guides on how to care for your treasures to guidelines on how to select a conservator and answers to many more questions you may have about conservation. This website links you to many free resources, but the training courses and conferences do require a fee (often several hundred dollars).

Janet Bishop PowerPoint Presentation

Modern Archival Management Tips for the Novice or "I Have Twenty-One Boxes of Historic Files Arriving On the Loading Dock This Morning and Don't Know Where to Begin!" This is a free resource.

The Upstate History Alliance's Distance Learning Program

The Upstate History Alliance has embarked on a project to bring professional development opportunities right to your fingertips. This unique learning different levels of experience. These courses are offered for a moderate fee ($45.00-60.00).

National Archives -- The Digital Classroom

The National Archives has developed this as a gateway for resources about primary sources, activities and training for educators and students. This connects you to other resources and is a free online resource.

Cornell University -- Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging Tutorial

This tutorial offers base-level information on the use of digital imaging to convert and make accessible cultural heritage materials. It also introduces some concepts advocated by Cornell University Library, in particular the value of benchmarking requirements before undertaking a digital initiative. You will find here up-to-date technical information, formulas, and reality checks, designed to test your level of understanding. This is a free online resource.

Ohio Historical Society

"Local Government Records: Just the Basics" video workshop

The "Local Government Records: Just the Basics" video is modeled after the Ohio Historical Society-Local Government Records Program (OHS-LGRP) workshops. Purchase this video for a modest fee.

National Archives, England

Paleography: Reading Old Handwriting, 1500 - 1800: A practical online tutorial.

Paleography is the study of old handwriting. This web tutorial will help you learn to read the handwriting found in documents written in English between 1500 and 1800. This is a free online resource.

John Curtin Society: Understand Society Through Its Records

Have you ever thought of records as the glue that holds a society together? Why not take some time to explore this website and discover why records and recordkeeping are so important? Gain an overview of records and recordkeeping past and present. See how records provide evidence of our lives and document our culture. Discover how records, both personal and public, can empower justice and help to ensure a fair society. For those who want to know more, take a comprehensive look at what goes on in archives and the world of recordkeeping professionals, with a special focus on Australia. There's plenty to do, read, view and discuss as well as great sites to visit and quizzes to try along the way. This is a free online resource.

Oregon: Web-Based Records Management Training

Any time, any place training for Records Officers and government employees who manage the retention and disposition of public records in Oregon. Each session contains an audio-video presentation followed by a short 10 question quiz. This is a free online resource.

Society of Indiana Archivists

From Attic to Archives: First Steps to Setting Up Your Archives: A step-by-step guide. This is a free online resource.

Library of Congress -- American Memory Program Workshops

Though developed for professional educators, the rich resources at this site can provide inspiration and techniques for the development of similar programs using local materials -- especially true of the Professional Development workshops: Workshops created and used by the Library of Congress available for YOUR use in local professional development activities. This is a free online resource.

Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

A wide variety of workshops that contain some highly useful training materials for workshop leaders -- itself a workshop topic. This is a free online resource.

UNESCO -- Web portal

A web portal to archival and other educational resources. This is a free online resource.

National Archives -- Records Management Nationwide Training

"As part of National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) mission to ensure ready access to essential evidence that documents the rights of American citizens, the actions of Federal officials, and the national experience, we partner with stakeholders to ensure that:

To achieve our goals, NARA's Strategic Plan calls for a redesign of Federal records management, including a change in Federal records policies and procedures. NARA has developed updated records management courses designed to meet the changing Federal recordkeeping environment." These training courses require a fee.

Archives Resource Center -- Council of State Archivists

A series of links for state and local archivists. Many of these courses require a fee.

Records Management and Guidance, Manuals

Council of State Archivists

Links, arranged by state, to information about records management policies and procedures. Many of these links direct you to free online resources.

The Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts

Calendar of training events

CCAHA specializes in the treatment of art and historic artifacts on paper and provides preservation education, training, and consultation. Established in 1977, CCAHA is the largest nonprofit regional conservation lab in the country. These courses require a modest fee (ranging from $50-100.00).

NPS Museum Handbook, Part I: Museum Collections


This document provides guidance on, and outlines procedures for, the care and preventive conservation for all disciplines and materials represented by National Park Service collections. It also covers professional ethics and topics from specialized storage, to exhibit environment standards, to conservation treatments, to emergency preparedness. This is a free online resource.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

Part of the Department of the Interior

This site provides a list of training workshops offered both online and in person for fees ranging between $0.00-800.00. These workshops cover such issues as gravestone restoration and maintaining historic trees.

Modern Archives Institute (NARA)

Participants usually have limited archival experience and represent a wide variety of archival repositories, large and small, public and private. Priority is given to persons who work with archives or manuscripts. Managers whose organizations include archival units, persons from other professions who require a basic understanding of archival work, and those who are preparing for a career in archives and manuscripts will be admitted on a space-available basis. There is a $725.00 fee.

The Georgia Archives Institute

Designed for beginning archivists, manuscript curators, and librarians, the Georgia Archives Institute offers general instruction in the basic concepts and practices of archival administration and management of traditional and Modern documentary materials. The Institute is held at the Georgia Archives in Morrow, Georgia, 15 miles south of Atlanta. There is a fee for this workshop.

Western Archives Institute -- Society of California Archivists

The Western Archives Institute is an intensive, two-week program that provides integrated instruction in basic archival practices to individuals with a variety of goals, including: those whose jobs require a fundamental understanding of archival skills, but have little or no previous archives education; those who have expanding responsibility for archival materials; those who are practicing archivists but have not received formal instruction; and those who demonstrate a commitment to an archival career. There is a $700.00 fee for this training course.

Yale's Manuscript Processing Manual

The Manuscript Unit's Processing Manual is a training guide for new processing staff, as well as a general reference manual for all staff in matters pertaining to manuscript processing at Beinecke Library. It details the library's current practices and standards for arranging and describing large archival collections in accordance with generally accepted archival principles and specific local practice. Although small collections usually do not require extensive physical preparation or finding aids, to the extent that physical preparation is required, guidance for their treatment will be found here as well. This is a free online resource.

ARCHIVAL PROCESSING: A Guide For Student Assistants and Interns -- Duke

To orient you to the larger picture, the manual begins with a brief overview of accessioning -- the moment at which we receive new materials, but the bulk of it describes the steps and procedures needed to process archival materials and make them accessible to researchers and students. This is a free online resource.

Archives and Manuscripts Processing Manual

UT Arlington

The manual brings consistent processing practices to the division for the first time. Special Collections staff has always adhered to high standards of modern archivy, but each archivist in the division described collections in a different way. In today's automated environment, descriptive practices in particular should be consistent so that online cataloging records and finding aids are helpful to users. This is a free online resource.

Best Practices Exchange Blog

Welcome to Best Practices Exchange, a website dedicated to information about the Best Practices Exchange Conferences and an online community for librarians, archivists, records managers and other information professionals dedicated to managing digital information in state government. The forum provides a place for you to discuss issues, challenges, and solutions. Please visit the conference page for information about past and upcoming conferences, as well as find links to their websites. The search function is a custom Google search that searches this site and other relevant websites. This is a free online resource.

Conservation OnLine

CoOL, an online resource operated by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation is a full text library of conservation information, covering a wide spectrum of topics of interest to those involved with the conservation of library, archives and museum materials. It is a growing online resource for conservators, collection care specialists, and other conservation professionals. Some of these resources require a fee for download.

Council of State Archivists- Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER)

The Council of State Archivists is leading this project to develop and deliver Web- and CD-based training for state and local governments nationwide. This is a free online resource.


The basic purpose of the to help small to medium-sized institutions with limited preservation experience (libraries, historical societies, archives, and museums) design a program to ensure that their historical collections survive as long as possible in usable condition. It is not targeted toward larger institutions such as research libraries, nor is it targeted toward the preservation of general circulating collections. Hence, it does not address preservation issues specific to those situations, such as book repair for circulating collections, library binding of circulating materials, management of a preservation department within a large library, or other complexities (such as multiple buildings) of larger institutions. Although some of the material here (building issues, disaster planning) could be used in a larger institution, the guide is primarily designed to serve small to medium-sized institutions. This is a free online resource.