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Collection Conservation Culture Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage The team

The moving project signing out

The moving project has come to an end. The project is closing down for now, having successfully emptied the Natural History building on Musèplassen 3.

The Natural History Museum of Bergen.
The Natural History Museum of Bergen.

The endeavor has taken more than three years to complete and included many different challenges, but they have all been met by the team of conservators in good spirit.

To recapture some big moments in the process, we have found a few old pictures.

stones being moved by crane.
Stones being moved by crane.
Stones strapped to pallets before the crane ride.
Stones strapped to pallets before the crane ride.

We have moved large building stones. It was a complicated move in terms of hardware. Several trucks and a crane were needed in the process. Revisit the stones here  and watch the moving video here and see the hidden treasures we found here.

Polar beer is maneuvered in place in the new storage.
Polar beer is maneuvered in place in the new storage.

In November 2013 we had the grand opening of the new central storage, read the post again here, and we emptied the first room in the exhibitions, revisit the post here.

Yet again we move by crane.
Yet again we move by crane.
Moose going into industrial freezing facility.
Moose going into industrial freezing facility.

From here on the tempo picked up and birds, mammals and fish went out the building in their boxes and on pallets. Some taxidermied animals proved difficult, but happily we borrowed a crane yet again. See the posts and the videos again in massive move part one and massive part two.

Auripigment or orpiment is a mineral with stunning colors, however, also toxic. It can be ground down and was used as a pigment for painting, but is no longer in use today.
Auripigment or orpiment is a mineral with stunning colors, however, also toxic. It can be ground down and was used as a pigment for painting, but is no longer in use today.

This year the moving project hit rock bottom, when we repacked, digitalized and moved large quantities of geological samples and paleontological objects in all sizes from the basement of the museum.  Read the post again here.

Here the minerals are neatly packed and ready to move to new storage.
Here the minerals are neatly packed and ready to move to new storage.

Want to see more pictures? The University of Bergen has an Instagram account called Unibergen. Furthermore, you can see pictures from Instagram related to the moving project on flickr, click here to see.

However, the moving isn’t over. Although the Natural History Museum is all but empty, the cultural history collections have only in small parts been organized and moved to new storage. This task will be carried out by the permanent staff of conservators in the future.

Furthermore, since the first steps towards rehabilitating the Natural History Museum is in progress and the construction of new exhibitions on the way, many of the objects will soon need to be conserved and moved back in. Hopefully the museum will once again open its doors in 2019.

For now the conservation team says goodbye, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

The conservation section wishing merry christmas.
The conservation section wishing merry christmas.
Categories
Collection Conservation Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage

The moving project hits rock bottom

The team has begun moving a geological collection out, as the last stage of emptying the natural history museum. The geological samples were housed in the basement and had not been curated for many years. The basement wasn’t suited for storing museum objects which became obvious when looking at some of the samples. Especially pyrite oxidation is a problem when the humidity is high.

 

Example of pyrite oxidation
Example of pyrite oxidation

The collection went through the following stages:

The stones were transported up from the basement in original crates.
The stones were transported up from the basement in original crates.
The samples were cleaned in a temporary enclosure with compressed air….
The samples were cleaned in a temporary enclosure with compressed air….
…and repacked in new acid free boxes padded with silk tissue paper.
…and repacked in new acid free boxes padded with silk tissue paper.
All samples were in addition measured for ionizing radiation with a Geiger counter.
All samples were in addition measured for ionizing radiation with a Geiger counter.
Repacked stones in plastic box.
Repacked stones in plastic box.

 

 

 

Categories
Collection Conservation Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage

Mummified whales and exotic rocks

The moving project started 2015 with the last stage of emptying the Natural History Museum. The collections left are exotic birds on display and geology both the mineral exhibition and a mixed geology collection in the basement.

Birds-of-Paradise
Birds-of-Paradise
Indian peafowl
Indian peafowl

Undertaking this last part of the packing has given us a few reminders, for example to look through all cupboards. In small cabinets under some of the old display cases, quite a few birds were hiding.

The hidden birds.
The hidden birds.

In the mineral collection we get a closer look at some of the extraordinary rocks this world has to offer, but it also reminds us that even rocks aren`t everlasting.

Marcasite is a type of pyrite very susceptible to humidity. This one is disintegrating, a condition known as pyrite decay.

Marcasite disintegrating.
Marcasite disintegrating.

Opals are so called mineraloids, these are hydrated silica. Their content of crystalline water gives them their characteristic play of color and has made them popular gemstones. We were also very fascinated by their many colors.

Opals.
Opals

In the protected whale hall the whale skeletons have been covered with Tyvek to shield them from the dust in the future renovations. The work required scaffolding and more than 300 meters of Tyvek. In the end the whale looked a bit mummified.

In the process.
In the process.
Working on the scaffold.
Working on the scaffold.
Finished!
Finished!
Categories
Conservation Moving Nature Storage

Massive move – part two

As promised this week’s post is about how we got the big animals out a window.

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Moose being offloaded from the crane.

All mounted animals were secured to a pallet and cowered with plastic. Approximately 60 animals had to be moved out within a week. There wasn’t room for all the animals in our own climatically stable freezer. Instead we got freezing opportunity for the objects at a local industrial freezing facility with lots of room.

Moose going into freezing storage.
Moose going into freezing storage.
All the animals in industrial freezing storage.
All the animals in industrial freezing storage.

To read why we freeze things visit our old post Danger! Danger! Insects! or Mr. Freeze.

To show you the journey out the window we’ve made this video. To watch click here or follow the link:

 

 

Categories
Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage

Massive move – part one

In the past five months we have been preparing to move out the big animals.

To summarize the process we’ve made this short video. To view the video click here or on the link below:

Next week we will release a video on the move it self!

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Categories
Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage

SHARK!!!!

Autumn is approaching, the days are growing shorter and time is closing in on moving the big animals from the museum exhibition. The conservators on the moving project have, in association with the construction firm currently renovating the south wing of the museum, scheduled to move the “oversized mounts” out a window by crane in October.

Animals in the dimmed light getting ready for the Autumn move.

Before this can be carried out, several animals must be properly secured on pallets. At present, we are working on three sharks mounted on tall metal rods. This support system is less than ideal for transport, because they are very heavy and the center of gravity is high making the sharks unstable.

 

Shark on rod.

New mounts are furnished on long pallets with supporters cut to size from Plastazote foam and secured on bits of wood. The foam is glued together with hot melt glue and fastened with a top layer of Tyvek textile. These pallets will serve as permanent storage crates for the sharks.

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First we measure the shark’s belly and then the measurements are added to the foam.

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Tyvek is added and the shark is put on its new crate.

Categories
Conservation Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage

Big animals – Big deal!

The moving team has taken on the challenge of preparing the move of large animals from the closed museum. The animals are so big, they have to be cleaned in the museum and from there go directly to a freezing facility and storage.

One of the smaller exhibition rooms has been converted into a cleaning zone or box. In this area we use compressed air to clear the dust off the animals and the box encloses the dust and potentially health hazards in the room. Here are a few pictures.

Dromedary in the box.
Dromedary in the box.
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Muskox eyes are cleaned.
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When the animals have been cleaned, we cover them with thin plastic to protect them from dust.

While most animals can fit in our freezer some animals like the giraffe, a few sharks and some deer are either too long or too tall to fit in the container. How we are going to freeze these big animals is not yet fully planned, but borrowing space at a large industrial freezer is among the options. We will return in the autumn with an update on this part of the move!

Heavy bison on long pallet needs extra weight to move with normal jack.
Heavy bison on long pallet needs extra weight to move with normal jack.

 

Categories
Collection Culture Moving Preventive conservation Storage

Working against time

This month, the moving project started moving cultural history objects from old storage rooms with very bad climate, as mentioned in the previous post (click here). The cultural objects are a part of Norway’s history with selections of “ølboller” and “mangletrær” unique to this region, amongst other things.

Gang3 mugg

The climate has a relative humidity of more than 60% most days, making mold and insects a big issue. The plan is to move as many objects out as possible before the wood beetle’s life cycle reaches spring and they fly off, spreading to other parts of the museum. Therefore, during the last few weeks we have been packing with little space to work on and against time.

Mold and holes from insects all in one object.
Mold and holes from insects all in one object.
Insect damage making the object very fragile.
Insect damage making the object very fragile.

 

Vacuuming in at small space.
Vacuuming in at small space.

 

Vacuuming after clearing out some space.
Vacuuming after clearing out some space.

 

Categories
Conservation Moving Nature Preventive conservation Storage

Loads of alcohol!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2014!

As mentioned in our Christmas post (Click here to see) we started 2014 with packing the spirit collection on display at the museum. We decided on a movable packing solution to make the collection mobile for later convenience. Everything was placed on pallets padded with Styrofoam. The glasses were separated using Styrofoam and other packing plastics.

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This work started an early Tuesday morning as can be seen on the pictures. Several of the objects were of a considerable size and we had extra help placing these on pallets by our moving firm.

Beforehand, we documented the exhibition room with photos and during the process we started to note all museum numbers in reference to display cases.

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We ended up with 15 pallets of wet collection objects. These were all checked to make sure they had enough ethanol and had as close-fitting lids as possible to decrease any evaporation. In the end all pallets were covered with Tyvek to protect both specimens and Styrofoam as both are very susceptible to light (oxidation).

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Categories
Collection Storage

Now it’s official!!

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This Wednesday we had thegrand Halloween flavored opening of our new storage facility! 80 people made the trip by bus to the grotto, among them the Director of the University Museum of Bergen and the Prorector of the University of Bergen. The day featured several speeches before Prorector officially opened the facilities by cutting the balloon ribbon.

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The Director and the Prorector then cut the cake. A picture on the cake displayed an embarrassing photo of a messy draw and was cut to symbolize a new and well-organized era in the collections.

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The day ended with the Prorector symbolically placing an owl on one of the shelves inside the storage.

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Congratulations to the University Museum of Bergen on the new storage!

For more information you can visit the UiB webside Click here. Note that the article is in Norwegian.

bilde
…and then the team flew home in the car!