Chapter 29: Support & Rehousing for Collection Storage
Rachael Perkins Arenstein, A.M. Art Conservation, LLC, Scarsdale NY
Lisa Goldberg, Goldberg Preservation Services, Corning, NY
Eugenie Milroy, A.M. Art Conservation, LLC, Coldspring, NY
Well-designed storage and support systems for individual items and collections are crucial in meeting goals for preventive care. This chapter will cover challenges and considerations in designing storage mounts and implementing rehousing solutions, as well as principles that can be applied to achieve appropriate support and space efficiency. The condition of individual items, the general philosophy guiding storage for broader collections and availability of institutional resources will impact the design of rehousing solutions. In turn, these factors will influence item configuration, choice of materials and tools, construction technique and space efficiency. The chapter will use a tiered approach to creating solutions that apply to storage, thus stimulating the reader to think about ways to transfer and adapt methods and materials for different types of collections. Practical considerations relating to mass production, health and safety in material choice and construction techniques will also be covered.
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STASHc: Storage Techniques for Art, Science & History Collections
The STASHc website, developed by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), provides information on mount design and construction as well as tools (i.e. Glossary and Materials, Tools, Supplier list) so that institutions of all types, sizes and resource levels can learn how to create safe and appropriate storage solutions. These solutions were written by and for collection care professionals in all fields. In some cases, there are multiple examples of solutions for individual types of items, demonstrating that there is no single best solution for storage, and the right solution is one that meets collection needs using available resources. The site contains digital versions of all the storage solutions provided in the 1992 SPNHC publication Storage of Natural History Collections: Ideas and Practical Solutions.
RE-ORG This website developed by UNESCO and ICCROM presents a step-by-step storage reorganization methodology aimed at helping museum professionals upgrade their storage areas thus improving the collection’s potential for use and access, while ensuring its long-term conservation.
AIC Wiki The AIC wiki is a collaborative knowledge base created by AIC members for the conservation and preservation community. The site contains information on preventive care, mountmaking and other topics relevant designing proper storage and mounts.
CAMEO - Conservation & Art Materials Encyclopedia Online The CAMEO wiki site developed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on over 10,000 historic and contemporary materials and is a useful resource to determine the composition of materials evaluated for storage mounts.
National Park Service Conserve O Grams Conserve O Grams are short, focused leaflets about caring for museum objects, published in loose-leaf format and available free online. Section 4: Museum Collections Storage includes several storage and rehousing related topics.
Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes CCI Notes are short, illustrated leaflets offering practical advice, bibliographies and supply lists for issues related to the care, handling, and storage of cultural objects.
Additional useful information may be found:
- SPHNC website under Publications
- Preparation Art Handling, and Collections Care Information Network (PACCIN) site
- Connecting to Collections Care online community (C2CCare)
Examples of some useful informal platforms include blogs associated with institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History and the site PaleoPortal, as well as personal blogs that are maintained by individual conservators and other preservation specialists.