The fundamental concern of museums is to ensure that their collections will be available for the future generations. Preventive conservation minimizes the deterioration of museum objects by controlling the environment in which they are exhibited or stored. Consequently in the long-term it is more effective and decreases considerably the cost of interventive conservation.
The science of preventive conservation has developed many methods for extending the lifetime of collections. However, it requires a consistent approach - a continuous evaluation of how the collections are stored, managed and exhibited. This approach is achieved via the assessment of risks to the collection, the management of these risks and finally leads to a comprehensive proposal for the conservation management of the collection.
Conservation risk assessment
This is the analysis of the magnitude of all risks affecting the collection. Ten agents of deterioration can cause damage to the collection and each is subdivided into three types (sometimes less) according to their severity and frequency of occurrence as is shown in the following table [According to Waller R. (1994)]. The purpose of a risk assessment is to numerically assess the risks to collections that come from various threats ranging from earthquakes at one extreme to dust accumulation at the other.
Risk management concerns budget allocation in a way to minimize methodically the overall risk for the museum collection. The risks that threaten the collection are compared in relation to their severity in order to prioritize the necessary actions for the preservation of the collection for a specific period of time. Risk management is a useful tool for the effective management of a museum collection.
Application of preservation methods
Effective methods for the preservation of a museum collection. In collaboration with a series of experienced partners (museologists, archaeologists, architects, web developers and specialists in the application of museum equipment), we undertake:
- Conservation risk assessment studies for the museum environment
- Preventive conservation studies for museum collections
- The establishment of appropriate (micro)climates for collections in storage and display
- Advice and install on appropriate store and display equipment adjusted to the unique environment of the collection
- The cataloguing, arrangement and condition survey of museum stores
- Hands-on conservation of a range of materials in collaboration with professional conservators
- The promotion of research (for more visit: www.museumscollectionscare.eu/en)