Behind the Scenes: Collection Move
The Gaston County Museum of Art and History is moving its collection, and we want to take you along for the ride! Over the last 40 years, the museum’s collection has grown to include over 10,000 objects and 15,000 archival materials. In order to meet the needs of our community, the museum’s collection will be moving to a new storage location in Dallas this summer, 2021.
To document this experience, the Museum has started a new project called Behind the Scenes: Collection Move, where we will share every step of the moving process, from planning to transportation.
Join us on Facebook or on our website for bi-weekly updates!
At the Gaston County Museum, it is the Registrar’s job to oversee the physical care of the museum’s collection. This includes monitoring temperature and humidity levels, pest management, and cleaning routines. As we prepare for our collection move, cleaning has become a crucial step in the process!
In order to clean our precious artifacts and archive we rely on a few things, including but not limited to:
- Nitrile gloves (for artifact protection)
- Hog hair and Bamboo brushes (useful for book cleaning and those delicate, hard to reach places)
- 100% Cotton Rags
- Cotton Q-tips
- HEPA filtered vacuums (cleans artifacts and the air too!)
- 70 % isopropyl alcohol (for mold and stubborn dirt)
- Particulate respirator (for personal protection)
I know… this is not your mother’s cleaning supplies list, but look at the results!
While cleaning and inventory are essential in preparing for a collection move, we cannot forget about the importance of collection housing. In order to ensure the long-term care and preservation of our objects, the Gaston County Museum has plans to rehouse the bulk of its collection by June of this year. Rehousing is a process that involves stabilizing an artifact using interior and exterior supports, minimizing the deterioration of objects over time. Collections intern, Sarah Dutton, has devoted her time to researching proper rehousing practices that include, but are not limited to:
- Proper textile boxing
- Mounts for hats, purses, and needlework
- Pot/bowl/cup containers
- Frames and covers used for bulk collections
- Packing methods for transport
The most common materials found in collections storage include polyethylene, sometimes marketed under the brand names Tyvek and Volara, undyed cotton or muslin, and acid-free paper used in boxes, folders, support boards and more. Information on artifact housing is not hard to find. Sarah reflects on her experience stating, “I spent most of my time combing through Pinterest, museum websites, finding old museum conference presentations, and falling down rabbit holes of frankly very obscure blogs.”
Shelving and Storage
Collecting In Crisis
The Covid-19 pandemic and the civil rights crisis here in America have taken the world by storm. As our lives shift, the Gaston County Museum of Art and History would like to document these moments in history, and we are asking the people of Gaston County to help us by sharing their experiences.