are two main types of conservation a museum curator may perform on objects.
The first type is to prevent any damage from happening to an object. The
other type of conservation is the repair of damage that has already occured
or the restoration of an object to a former, better condition.
State Museum practices preventive
objects by constantly monitoring the environments in which the collections
are kept and controlling the temperature, light, and humidity levels.
Some of the dangers objects face are:
or Repair; Conservation after damage occurs
to light (especially ultraviolet
light) can causes the chemical bonds in many materials to
break down, making them weak or brittle. It may also cause colors to
heat or cold is also hard on objects, but frequent, large, or rapid changes
in temperature are even worse.
can contribute to the spread of mold and mildew. Large changes in humidity
can cause objects to shrink, swell, and crack.
particles of dirt and dust can scratch the surface of some objects or ruin
and other pests can eat or burrow through materials such as wood and cloth.
may break because of improper handling or storage
the Museum receives an object that would be excellent to exhibit, but
that is not in very good condition. The Museum curator may ask for the
assistance of a conservator.
Conservators often have training in chemistry and are familiar with the
ways certain materials react to various kinds of treatments. They can
recommend the best treatment plan for an object in need of repair or restoration.
The Conservation of an Object: A Child's Wagon
learn how an object can be restored to its earlier and better condition.