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This content is excerpted from Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage (2019), Elkin and Norris, eds.

Chapter 34: Marking Collections

Nora Sharon Lockshin, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, DC

This chapter attempts to cover the myriad of ways that are found in museums, libraries, archives and special collections by which objects, specimens and living collections are marked in some way to designate ownership, order, and control over the physical object. This may involve direct and indirect methods, including application of written media, or inclusion or attachment of related devices, such as human and/or machine readable tags, labels or other printed or embedded media. History of marking collections is briefly reviewed with an emphasis on types, technologies, considerations, problems, solutions, best practices and potential for future developments.


Online Resources

For more information including a decision making tree and details on inks and substrates see Labeling Natural History Collections on the SPNHC wiki