Museum collections are often very sensitive to changes in their environment. For this reason items need to be carefully packed and stored to protect them from damage. Causes of damage include:
- physical force
- theft or vandalism
- the wrong humidity
- the wrong temperature
- lack of adequate curatorial care
Different collections need different storage conditions. For example, metals need dry conditions to prevent corrosion but other materials, like wood and leather, will crack and warp unless the air is slightly humid. Therefore we have a number of different stores to suit different needs.
The Museum Service puts a lot of 'behind the scenes' effort into improving the storage conditions of the collections. The staff are helped in this by teams of eager volunteers who help with the painstaking work.