Categories
Conservation Moving Nature Preventive conservation

Deflowering

Fragile models of flowers are being handled.
Fragile models of flowers are being handled.

The moving project started on dismounting the 1th store exhibitions at the Natural History Museum.  We began with the botanical displays consisting of enlarged models of flowers and dried specimens. The objects here are generally very fragile and need delicate handling with only a few things in each box and lots of padding material.

Model flower
Model flower
Box of flowers
Box of flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some display mounts are quite big and easily broken and has to be transported by hand to the conservation lab. All boxes will be carried out by hand as well to minimize vibration and shock. Dismounting and packing this exhibition room only took two days!

Almost done!
Almost done!
Empty room
Empty room
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
Moving Nature

Odd Sized Objects

The moving team is almost finished empting the second floor of the Natural History Museum. The last few moves have been interesting in terms of moving larger objects. The old elevator in the building only takes one standard EU pallet and anything that can’t fit on a pallet must find an alternative way out. Consequently, all the remaining objects were measured to determine their future journey. Here are some snapshots of the documentation and packing of the more challenging objects.

Some of the large objects. Spot the conservator!
Some of the large objects. Spot the conservator!
Center of gravity is sometimes an issue
Center of gravity is sometimes an issue.

 

These guys just made the EU standard
These guys just made the EU standard.

 

Some objects are very heavy. Like this Orca skull on metal pedestal.
Some objects are very heavy. Like this Orca skull on a metal pedestal.

 

Light weight model of swordfish got carried down the stairs
Light weight model of swordfish got carried down the stairs.

 

These gazelles are packed and ready to move
These gazelles are packed and ready to move.

Next month we will be moving the pest infested objects at the Cultural History Museum. This must be done before the beetles leave the wooden objects and fly off, spreading to other parts of the museum.

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.

Photo 07-01-14 08.23.50 Photo 07-01-14 09.05.01

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.

Photo 07-01-14 09.05.12 Photo 10-01-14 13.24.19

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).

Photo 09-01-14 10.28.03 Photo 09-01-14 11.27.51

Categories
Moving Other The team

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry ugle

The snow has settled in Bergen and the holidays are approaching fast. With only a few weeks left of December, we are working on the first load of birds from the now closed Museum of Natural History. At the same time we are working on some ethnographic material and getting as much as possible ready for the last freeze of the year.

During Christmas and New Year most of us will be away and there will be no blogging during this time. Come January new endeavors will begin, starting with moving the extensive spirit collection both on display and in storage at the museum. Special care must be taken with ethanol collections as they are both heavy, flammable and in glass containers. But more on this subject in the new year.

All that is left is to say is MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR from us here at the moving project!

Hope you will click in next year for more updates!

 Ugler

Categories
Collection Conservation Moving Nature

First exhibition room empty

Due to the extensive renovation of the University Museum of Bergen, the natural history collections on display will all be evacuated. The renovation process recently begun with the closing of the exhibitions on 1st of November and now time is limited for each room inside the museum to be emptied.

Hearing the builders on the other side of the wall, the first room to be emptied was “beinrommet” the bone room.  All the different bones were displayed in glass- and wood- showcases. Although most bones were loose in the cases, some of the showcases were secured in the wall with screws and the objects either fixed to the backside or secured with small nails and a sticky material. One of them had to be taken down from the wall to enable taking the objects down safely.

Bones in monter                   _BMU6573

Photo 05-11-13 13.35.37               Photo 05-11-13 13.29.49

Before moving any of the objects each showcase was photographed. Many of the most fragile bones were packed in polyethylene boxes to secure them for the move out and away from the museum. Others were packed in wrapping tissue and placed in polyethylene bags.

Photo 05-11-13 10.09.35                          Photo 06-11-13 09.58.36

Wooden frames with craniums were displayed around the room near the high ceiling. Most of them were possible to recover by ladder but problems arose with the craniums of deer and elk. These were out of reach, with wall-mounted show-cases in the way, and also had heavy antlers. We managed to move the showcases and take the large craniums down in the end.

_BMU6637        Photo 06-11-13 13.23.23

Categories
Collection Storage

Now it’s official!!

DSC04121 DSC04115

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.

DSC04134 IMG_3599

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.

IMG_3604 DSC04120

 

 

 

 

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

IMG_3607

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!

 

Categories
Collection Conservation Culture Preventive conservation

October update and other things than moving….

The moving project is very busy and will be even more so when the Natural History Museum closes the 1th of November. When the museum closes for renovation we have to move all the objects out so the builders can get in. November and December will be a busy time, but even though we are busy, we still have to find time for other things than moving.

The last few weeks the whole conservation department has been hard at work in the Culture History Museum cleaning the exhibits.

Vacuuming can a delicate job.
Vacuuming can be a delicate job.

Cleaning exhibits is a very demanding job, since you have to clean all the glass (next time you go to a museum notice just how much glass there is!). The glass of cause has to be cleaned on both sides as well, which takes a lot of time.

Stine i montre
Conservator on display.

We have to move all the objects out of the display cases to clean the glass and the objects and then they all have to be moved back in their display cases again. Cleaning glass, de-dusting, vacuuming, cleaning objects and polishing, all in a day’s work for a conservator!

Ut av montre
Objects moved out of display case.
Categories
Moving Preventive conservation Storage

Mr. Freeze

The new central storage facility is clean and free of pests. To keep it that way, we have to make sure that there are no living pests in the objects we move into the new storage. Pest removal or sanitation can be done in several ways, as was mentioned in a previous post Danger! Danger! Insects!. However, here at the moving project we freeze everything, for the most part, before it goes into the storage.

Temperature when  all is as it should be in the freezer.
Temperature when all is as it should be in the freezer
Mr Freeze
Mr Freeze and the ramp in front when he is closed.

 

We have installed a freezing container close to the new storage so that things can be moved into the freezer and then directly into storage. Freezing can be done in a number of ways (variables usually being temperature and time). We freeze objects at minus 40 degrees for 6 days. Our freezing container has been equipped with climate controls to regulate the relative humidity in the freezer. This is to avoid condensation forming on the objects and to minimize the packing of objects in plastic. This is important since water is harmful for many types of objects e.g. paper and wood, and when packed individually, we handle the objects more and increase the risk of damages. Furthermore, it saves time not packing everything.

 

Mr Freeze is emptied on moving day.
Mr Freeze is emptied on moving day.
The objects from the freezer are put in the front room of the storage. The objects are free of living pests and are moved into storage, ready to be put on the shelves!
The objects from the freezer are put in the front room of the storage. They are free of living pests and from here they can be moved into storage, ready to be put on the shelves!
New objects are moved into the freezer.
New objects are moved into Mr Freeze.
Mr Freeze is turned back on at -40 degrees C.
Mr Freeze is turned back on at -40 degrees C.
...and when all is well Mr Freeze smiles at you!
…and when all is well Mr Freeze smiles at you!

 

 

Categories
Collection Conservation Preventive conservation The team

Under the southern sun

So last week the natural history conservators on the moving project had an excursion to Barcelona. Not to get a tan, though it was warm and sunny in Spain, but to attend 1st International Conservation Symposium-Workshop for Natural History Collections (A forum in Conservation, Restoration and Preparation).  The symposium lasted for three days, two days of presentations from different museums and projects all over on their work, and a day of workshops on feathers, microenvironments and plaster jackets among other themes.

Some of us attended the workshop on plaster jackets, a method developed by preparators from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D. C. To have a closer look at this method you can visit their website: Plaster Jackets

Plaster jackets
“Creating padded cradles to protect fossil specimens”
Steven J. Jabo. Preparator of Paleontology – Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington USA
“Cleaning and repair techniques for feathers” Allyson Rae Specialist in Organic Artifacts Conservation -UK
“Cleaning and repair techniques for feathers”
Allyson Rae Specialist in Organic Artifacts Conservation -UK

 

There was lots of networking as well as time for a cool drink and we would like to think we made new friends within the conservation community.

1st International Conservation Symposium-Workshop Natural History Collections A forum in Conservation, Restoration and Preparation Barcelona-Spain 18-21 September 2013
1st International Conservation Symposium-Workshop
Natural History Collections
A forum in Conservation, Restoration and Preparation
Barcelona-Spain 18-21 September 2013