artifact protection/packing during facility upgrade

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    • #133303

      Our collection has a good number of animal mounts that are not in cases. Our museum is getting a minimally invasive (hah) HVAC upgrade that will require these to be protected and moved (within the museum). We are a tiny museum with a matching budget. Anyone have experience or know of resources on this?

    • #133312
      Ron Kley
      Participant

      If these mounted specimenr date prior to about the mid 20th century you should probably assume that the skins were preserved with potent quantities of arsenic compounds, which can “leak” and be seriously hazardous if there are any cracks in the skin (as is typically the case with old mounts).

      Unless and until you can verify that the mounts are arsenic-free they should probably be treated with full HAZMAT precautions.

    • #133311

      All the mounts were tested for arsenic, etc in the 90s. Dangerous ones were removed.

    • #133310
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      We have a few larger mounts that we just put into temporary storage space, so that a conservation intern can work on cleaning them. We are having Maintenance build us dollies so that they can be moved without being handled. They won’t be fancy, just plywood with casters, plus a couple stabilizers that will go across the top of the base with foam padding. We have also had Maintenance build us a simple frame for a wall-mounted specimen (an owl on a wall bracket) – the frame has four legs and a platform with space for the bracket to sit in, then some stabilizers to hold it in place.

    • #133309
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      We have a few larger mounts that we just put into temporary storage space, so that a conservation intern can work on cleaning them. We are having Maintenance build us dollies so that they can be moved without being handled. They won’t be fancy, just plywood with casters, plus a couple stabilizers that will go across the top of the base with foam padding. We have also had Maintenance build us a simple frame for a wall-mounted specimen (an owl on a wall bracket) – the frame has four legs and a platform with space for the bracket to sit in, then some stabilizers to hold it in place.

    • #133308

      Tyvek (non-woven, spun-bonded polyolefin fabric) sheeting can be cut and sewn to make good covers which are breathable but protect from dust. We used those to cover moose, rhino etc. Smaller mounts were packed in tissue lined card boxes with large cushions of bubblewrap wrapped in acid-free tissue to pack between and prevent movement. Some mounts were packed in Coroplast or Correx corrugated polypropylene boxes made to fit each item – cut from sheet and held together with hotmelt glue gun adhesive. These were an absolute pain because they were all different shapes and sizes so really difficult to stack and store. So I’d recommend making several standard sizes. The good thing about them was you could make a fitting in the bottom to slide the base of the mount in, meaning the animal was held fixed in place with nothing touching it – great for birds.

    • #133307

      Very helpful Helena! One question–what were the coroplast box bottom fittings made of? Particularly interested, as we do have mostly base mounted birds and small mammals.

    • #133306

      A rectangle of Coroplast folded to make a raised inner base, with a slit cut out of it into which we slid the base mount.

    • #133305

      I was involved in the renovation of a museum with huge numbers of artifacts, specimens, etc. We used Metro shelving – like bakers’ racks with wheels – to put cartons or filled drawers on, as there were multiple moves within the building. It worked very well – the staff could move things easily without needing movers.

    • #133304

      Another useful moving cart is the Space Rover 2 Rolling Cart, which would work for smaller or flat objects on the lower shelves and on the top shelf taller objects can be accommodated. During assembly, the top surface could be flipped so that it has an edge to it to stop things falling off. The lockable wheels are very useful and carts are easy to push/steer. Cart measures 33 1/2″ long x 24″ deep x 34″ high and shelves are 9″ apart with cut-out sections to allow you to remove items from the shelves. The Original Space Rover would also work well if the frame/painting dividers were not used. Both are sturdy heavy gauge steel construction. A bit more money than the Baker’s racks at $280 and $260 respectively (but on sale now till 10/21).

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