This paper discusses issues that are common to conservation archive collections in the UK. It focusses on Northumbria University, where a significant number of artworks on canvas and paper, diaries, sketchbooks, artist materials, technological and scientific outputs, reconstructions, samples, photographs and digital images have been amassed over several decades in support of education and research. Although this resource is available to students and scholars, physical access is impeded by the diversity of locations where each item is held and the dependencies retrieval and supervision has on staff time. Our concern is that this valuable resource is underused because of the lack of electronic records, and whilst a few noteworthy artworks and materials are internally recorded, none are linked to heritage or educational networks. We anticipate that Northumbria is just one amongst many organisations with similar issues and that it is possible to plan for a more unified system where conservation archives and related research outputs are linked to a wider network.