REALM Project

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Toolkit resources to support reopening practices for museum staff are available to download at the links below.

Bookmark this page and check back often as additional resources will be available soon.

Cleaning and disinfecting considerations

Updated: 5 February 2021

This guide synthesizes resources from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to clean and disinfect public spaces. In addition to social distancing, practicing prevention hygiene, and following public health guidelines, reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting can be an important part of reopening your facility.

REALM for Museums

Updated: 19 December 2020

Review the scope of the REALM project, the "known and unknowns" about COVID-19, and materials which have been tested by the project and are relevant to museums.

Introduction to the REALM project (video)

Updated: 17 December 2020

Get an inside look at REALM goals, roles, and activities as told by project team members from IMLS, OCLC, and Battelle.

REALM visual aids

Updated: 17 December 2020

New REALM toolkit resources are available to help support the interpretation and use of REALM laboratory research. These downloadable visual aids show test results by material type and usage, including: surfaces, books and paper, media and plastics.

Literature review: Key takeaways

Updated: 19 November 2020

The Phase 2 literature review analyzed and summarized findings from available scientific literature on SARS-CoV-2 from mid-May through mid-August 2020. This review focused on studies of how the virus is spread, virus attenuation on commonly found materials, and effectiveness of prevention and decontamination measures.

Quarantine, disinfection and cleaning of museum collections and exhibits

Updated: 19 November 2020

Links to information about disinfection and cleaning of materials, as well as illustrative examples of documented protocols and procedures. Also included is a recorded presentation from the Northeast Document Conservation Center on how they are approaching disinfection of paper-based collections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

REALM test results in visual format

Updated: 19 November 2020

A visual aid that compiles the test results published by the REALM project. The data currently includes the results of Tests 1-6 and will be updated as new results are available.

Decision-making checklist

Updated: 19 November 2020

While working toward resuming operations and services to the public, many factors and resources (national, state, local) can inform local decision-making. This list of considerations offers a starting point and includes links to guides and additional information.

REALM 101: An introduction to COVID-19 and the project

Updated: 19 November 2020

An overview of the project purpose, what we know about COVID-19, as well as the "known unknowns," and the testing process being used for REALM.

Collections and facilities: Caring for your resources during COVID-19 (video)

Updated: 22 October 2020

Chris Carron, Director of Collections at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and a member of the REALM Operations Working Group, participated in a project webinar on October 8, 2020. In this video, Chris shares how the museum's policies and procedures have evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.