Market Lavington Museum

Rog Frost and Mike Bedford 13th February 2015

Care and Conservation Plan

 

This plan sets out the actions required to implement the Care and Conservation Policy. It should be read in conjunction with the Forward Plan, Building Plan and Emergency Plan and any other plans affecting the collection and the museum buildings.

 

The museum has access to conservation advice from the regional Conservation Development Officer and refers all concerns to an appropriate conservator.

 

Contents

1.    Monitoring And Improving Environmental Conditions Including Temperature, Relative Humidity (RH), Light And Dust

2.    Managing The Threat From Pests

3.    Housekeeping

4.    Conservation Cleaning Of Objects On Open Display

5.    Documentation Of The Condition Of The Collection And Of Any Treatments Carried Out On Objects

6.    Storage Materials And Methods

7.    Display Materials And Methods

8.    Handling Materials and Methods ??

9.    Transport Methods

10. Loans In

11. Loans Out

12. Workforce Training

13. Plans for Improvement

14. Appendices:

ē       Forms Ė [for recording inspections, results or whatever]

ē       Contacts

ē       Suppliers

ē       References and where to find them (Benchmarks, etc)

ē       Copies of factsheets: Signposts, handling guidelines, etc

 

1.    Monitoring And Improving Environmental Conditions Including Temperature, Relative Humidity (RH), Light And Dust

 

TEMPERATURE AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY

The museum monitors and records the temperature and relative humidity (RH) in the storage and display areas.

The museum aims to maintain conditions which are as stable as possible, within the range 12 - 20ļC and 45 Ė 60% RH.

 

The current system issmall and all open. One thermohygrograph is used, calibrated by professionals from Wiltshire CMAS.

Readings are recorded in graphical form, continuously

The readings are examined by the curator and reported to conservation staff at Wiltshire CMAS..

All readings are filed in the curator's desk and kept for five years

The devices are calibrated by Wiltshire CMAS at yearly intervals

 

The museum uses the following to control the environment:

Electric storage heaters (x3)

 

Items which require extremely dry environments are kept in polythene boxes with a sufficient quantity of silica gel. The silica gel is checked by the curator or members of Wiltshire CMAS every year and replaced with dried silica gel when necessary.

 

LIGHT

No objects are exposed to direct sunlight. Items are protected from unnecessary exposure to light. Storage areas are kept dark when not in use.

The museum is in near total darkness for 162 hours out of 168 per week.

 

Visible light levels are checked using the Wiltshire CMAS light meter on their two visits per year. This is organised by the curator. The results are recorded in a report from CMAS.

 

Light sensitive material is not left on permanent display.

 

The museum aims to keep light exposure for very light sensitive material to below 150,000 lux-hours per year and for less sensitive material to below 300,000 lux-hours per year. The museum will remove items from display if light exposure is deemed to be too high.

 

DUST

Items are not left exposed to dust if possible. They are protected by being kept in boxes or display cases or covered with Tyvek or cotton sheets or acid-free tissue paper. If items need to be protected with polythene sheet or bubblewrap they are first covered with acid-free tissue paper. Covered objects and items in boxes are clearly marked to identify the object inside.

 

Dust levels in the museum are controlled by

       Good housekeeping

       Keeping external doors and windows closed whenever possible.

       Using mats to trap dust from shoes at entrances

       Keeping the approach to the museum clean

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to monitoring and improving the environment are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

2.    Managing The Threat From Pests

 

Quarantine

Any item coming into the museum (even returning items which have been on loan) will be kept separate from the collection until it has been fully examined by a member of staff.

Items which have to be stored in the museum awaiting examination will be kept away from the collection or isolated by placing them in a polythene box or wrapping them in polythene sheet. They will be examined as quickly as possible, especially as there is a risk of mould if they are damp.

 

Monitoring

Sticky traps are placed in the storage and display areas, along the floors, near doorways and windows, on window sills and occasionally on shelves, to monitor insect activity especially in dark, quiet areas. Hanging sticky traps are used if any moths are seen.

The traps are checked monthly between February Ė June and then every two months for the rest of the year (e.g. February, March, April, May, June, August, October, December)

 

A sketch plan is made of each room, showing the location of the traps. The traps are numbered.Each trap is examined by CMAS in a good light using a magnifying lens and the results recorded in a report.

 

If pests are found which are potentially harmful to the collection or building, a conservator is asked for advice which is then acted upon.

 

Prevention

No food or drink is kept in any area where the collections is stored or displayed except sealed and frequently checked jars of jam which are museum artefacts.

Good housekeeping keeps the museum clean, reducing the risk of infestation by pests.

Windows and doors are kept shut whenever possible. All vents in the walls are protected with mesh screens.

 

Gloves are worn when needed, when handling objects to reduce the possibility of mould growth and pest attack.

 

Areas which are full of boxes and objects are deep cleaned every year. All boxes and items are removed from shelving, the shelving and walls wiped clean with microfibre cloths and then the items are replaced.

 

Good ventilation is important for preventing mould and pest infestation. Storage areas are opened up regularly. Items are stored in a way to allow air movement around them. Boxes are kept at least 75mm (3 inches) away from walls. Items are not stacked against external walls.

 

Any mouldy or pest infested packing material must be thrown out promptly.Any information on it is recorded first.

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to pests are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

 

3.    Housekeeping

 

No polishes, cleaning agents or sprays are used in the museum without the advice of a conservator.

 

Synthetic (not feather) dusters are used on walls, lights and ceilings (not objects). Microfibre cloths (dry or dampened with clean water), brushes and vacuum cleaners are used for cleaning the building.

 

Housekeeping does not include cleaning objects on open display.

Storage areas:

       Floors are cleaned by stewards as needed.

       Shelves, worksurfaces and ledges are wiped down with microfibre cloths by volunteers under the direction of the curator every year

       Windows are cleaned internally with microfibre cloths as required

       Walls are wiped down by stewards under the direction of the curator each year.

       The areas are deep-cleaned by stewards under the direction of the curator as required.

 

Display areas:

       Floors are cleaned by stewards each month

       Shelves, work surfaces and ledges are wiped down with microfibre cloths by volunteers under the direction of the curator every year

       Windows are cleaned internally with microfibre cloths as required

       Walls are wiped down by stewards under the direction of the curator each year.

ē  ††Cases are wiped with microfibre cloths by stewards under the direction of the curator as required

 

 

4.    Conservation Cleaning Of Objects On Open Display (or in open storage)

 

Wherever possible, items are displayed in secure, suitable cases and stored in appropriate boxes. Where this is not possible, items on open display or in storage are carefully monitored and recorded and appropriate action taken when damage or dirt is observed.

 

Delicate items (e.g. oil paintings, gilded frames, decorated wood surfaces, musical instruments, clocks) should only be cleaned by an appropriate conservator.

 

More robust surfaces may be cleaned using the brush vacuum method:

 

Examine the object carefully and make sure that it is safe to clean

Choose a suitable soft brush and make sure the metal ferrule is protected with masking tape.

Cover the crevice nozzle of a vacuum cleaner with a piece of soft net or tights, held in place with a rubber band.

Taking care not to touch the object with the vacuum cleaner hose or other apparatus, gently brush the loose dust off the object into the nozzle of the vacuum. Do not touch the object with the nozzle.

Examine the object again, record your treatment of it and any observations.

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to conservation cleaning of objects on open display are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

 

5.    Documentation Of The Condition Of The Collection And Of Any Treatments Carried Out On Objects

The museum retains records of every treatment carried out on objects, by in-house staff or external conservators.Records are added to an itemís catalogue entry according to the procedures set out in the museumís Documentation Procedural Manual.

 

Every object loaned from the collection has its condition checked and recorded when it leaves and returns to the museum.

The condition of the collection is audited by CMAS every year and the results recorded in a report. Changes in the condition of any object are notified to CMAS for action in line with the museumís Forward Plan.

 

It is the archivistís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to documentation of the condition of collections and any treatment carried out are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

 

6.    Storage Materials And Methods

The museum is aware that all items should be protected in inert packaging materials in a way which protects the item from chemical or physical damage.

The museum replaces any inappropriate boxes and packing materials with acid-free card and tissue paper, polythene, inert styrene or polypropylene boxes and polythene foam as detailed in Signposts Factsheet No 2 Materials for Storage and Display (downloaded from Collections Link).Please see Forward Plan for details of conservation budget each year for repacking.

Items which are too large to be boxed are covered with acid-free tissue or Tyvek fabric.

No item is stored on the floor. Very large items are stored on padded chocks or a pallet. Smaller items are stored on shelves which are lined with polythene Jiffy foam or acid-free tissue.

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to storage materials and methods are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

7.    Display Materials And Methods

The museum uses secure display cases whenever possible.

New cases are chosen in accordance with the Signposts Factsheet No 2 Materials for Storage and Display and the Guidance Note Choosing New Display Cases (downloaded from the Collections Link website).

Older cases are sealed with Moistop film or Dacrylate 103-1 varnish before reuse.

Cases are lined with acid-free board, washed unbleached calico or scoured polyester cotton cloth or polythene foam. Mounts are made with materials as listed in Signpost Factsheet No 2.†† Mounts are constructed to provide support for the object and protect it from physical damage during display and handling. No object is permanently changed by its attachment to a mount.

 

Items on open display are checked by the curator every year and their condition recorded. Items on open display are secured using the least damaging method possible.

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to display materials and methods are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

 

8.    Transport Methods

Items are carried between rooms in a suitably safe manner.

Items always travel with sufficient documentation.

Items are never left unattended in vehicles.

 

Changes of location longer than part of a day are recorded in writing as required, according to the procedures set out in the museumís Documentation Procedural Manual.

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to transport methods are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

9. Loans out

All requests for loans from the collection will be assessed individually before a decision is reached.The condition of the items, the location, environment and security of the venue, transport and personnel involved will all be reviewed.

Every borrower will be asked to fill out a Facilities Report using the template available from the UK Registrars Group or the museumís equivalent..

For particularly valuable items, additional information regarding display cases and security may be requested using the supplementary templates available from the UK Registrars Group or the museumís equivalent..

Security, environmental, handling and conservation conditions are stipulated by the museum and agreed with the borrower as part of the loan agreement.

If agreed, the condition of the item to be loaned will be recorded using the exit form.This form is part of the loan agreement and a copy will accompany the object when it leaves the building.

Every item is checked against the original condition report when it is returned to the museum.The loan and the outcome of the check is recorded on the itemís catalogue entry according to the museumís Documentation Procedural Manual.

 

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to loans out are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

10. Loan in

The museum treats all incoming loans according to the requirements set out in the loan agreement between it and the lending authority.

The museum will notify the lending authority if there is any change in its circumstances which mean that it can no longer meet the requirements set out in this agreement.

If the lending body does not supply a Condition Check Form for each object, the museum will use its own Condition Check Forms.

It is the curatorís responsibility to ensure the measures relating to loans in are in place, communicated and acted upon.

 

 

11. Workforce Training

It is the museumís policy that only people who have received appropriate training should handle items from the collections.

This is done in annual training and refresher sessions plus on the spot help.

 

 

 

Rog Frost and Mike Bedford - 13th February 2015