Museums & Galleries Qld

Archive for the ‘Conservation’ Category

On the blog of the Museum Development Officers this week, is a really instructive account of stage two of disaster recovery at Gayndah. What to do after you have put all those muddy items into the freezer to deal with later is explained beautifully here with lots of pictures of the work in progress. M&GSQ congratulates all the MDOS and the volunteers at Gayndah for this incredible effort towards disaster recovery from the January floods. To see their blog post go to

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M&GSQ’s North Burnett Workshop on Preventive Conservation was presented by Museum Development Officer, Lydia Egunnike in Gayndah on Saturday 29 June. Topics included:

  • Preservation planning
  • Identifying and preventing deterioration and damage: Chemical and physical structure of objects; External and internal environmental factors; Biological factors (including use of Integrated Pest Management); Collection handling and use.
  • Storage furniture and object enclosure selection: selecting materials and design; Simple DIY enclosures.
  • Cleaning techniques.

Here’s my top tips on preserving collections from learning at the workshop:

  1. Create a stable environment (locate collections away from sources of light, heat, moisture & air pollutants, allow for good air movement, uncluttered storage and display, use object enclosures and supports made from non-reactive materials and designed to avoid damage to the objects, monitor collections, use integrated pest management).
  2. Dust is your enemy; implement a regular cleaning regime for the buildings and collections.
  3. Use blunder traps for crawling pests.
  4. If you find collection items infested with bugs or beetles, check with a conservator for best treatment eg paper based collections, textiles without wood or glass can be double bagged and put in a freezer to kill the pests; wood and glass objects can be given low oxygen treatments. For more information see
  5.  Use enclosures made of non-reactive materials to store collections-see guides to making an archival box and flap enclosures
  6. Nitrile gloves may be better than cotton for handling collections.
  7. Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with micro attachments for cleaning paper, textiles; use air puffer for gentle cleaning of photographs; wash glass and ceramics with deionised or distilled water, use a soft brush and don’t wear gloves.

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M&GSQ was awarded a federal Community Heritage Grant to conduct three workshops in the Burnett Region on Collection Management, Disaster Preparedness and Recovery and Preventive Conservation.    North Burnett Regional Council also generously supported the workshop venue at the Gayndah Arts and Cultural Centre, 34 Meson Street, Gayndah.

Community Heritage Grants are jointly funded and supported by the National Library of Australia, the Department of Regional Australia, Local government, Arts and Sport; the National Archives of Australia, the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Museum of Australia.

As part of the Griffith University Social Enterprise Program, M&GSQ has coordinated training workshops for students undertaking social enterprise placements in museums. This year, M&GSQ continues the partnership with Griffith University School of Humanities who provide funding for a training course in basic collection management and preventive conservation.

Curator, Lisa Jones from the Queensland Police Museum and Conservator, Christine Ianna facilitated these workshops on the principles, policies and procedures that describe and articulate a collecting institution’s purpose for students and volunteers.

Thanks to Virginia Rigney, Gold Coast City Gallery for sharing this post from MOMA…

Dear Members and Friends,I write on behalf of everyone at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 to express support and concern for those of you affected by Hurricane Sandy. We hope this note finds you and your families safe and well.Our foremost concern has been for our neighbors and friends who have suffered so much hardship and damage. A MoMA curator and the director of MoMAPS1 put out a call for volunteers from the arts community and together they filled a bus with donated supplies and headed to one of the many areas in need of help today. This is but a small part of the relief effort, but we were humbled by the incredible commitment of the volunteers. Our staff will continue to play a role in the recovery, and we invite those of you who are able to join us in these efforts.

Tomorrow, Sunday, November 4, at 12:00 p.m., The Museum of Modern Art’s conservation staff and speakers from the American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT) will conduct a series of workshops to help the many artists and galleries whose works were affected by Hurricane Sandy. They will provide suggestions and answer questions on how to safely handle damaged paintings, drawings, books, sculptures, and other artistic and cultural materials. Visit for more information on this program. MoMA has also issued Immediate Response for Collections, a document offering step-by-step guidelines for dealing with artworks damaged by flooding, and we will continue to lend knowledge and support to those caring for collections affected by the storm.

If you are in a position to help others, you may want to visit for information on making donations and for information on volunteer opportunities. Visitors to MoMA will also find a collection box in the Museum’s lobby, with proceeds to be donated to relief efforts in Greater New York.

Our thoughts are with you all in the aftermath of this terrible storm. We wish you the best at this difficult time, and hope to see you back in the galleries soon. And if you have suggestions as to how we can even better serve those affected by the storm please feel free to contact us at

Glenn D. Lowry


Lydia Egunnike, Senior Conservator at the State Library of Queensland, has also been honoured as a Queensland Disaster Hero for her exceptional efforts to help restore items from the flood damaged collection of Ipswich photographer and photographic historian, Sandy Barrie. Read the rest of this entry »

On Sunday of the long weekend, 12 June, M&GSQ’s Executive Director Rebekah Butler and I joined a throng of people at South Bank, Brisbane, for a special ceremony to recognise Queensland Disaster Heroes as part of Queensland Week. We were there to support Queensland conservator, Christine Ianna, as she received a commemorative medal for her outstanding initiative, commitment and service to safeguarding Queensland’s heritage during the recent disasters. Read the rest of this entry »

Kindly hosted by Brisbane City Archives, Moorooka

Saturday 14 May 2011

With support generously provided by Museum of Brisbane Heritage Officer, Deannah Vieth, Christine Ianna conducted a free one-day Preventive Conservation Workshop for volunteers at not-for-profit collection organisations who wanted to learn more about how to care for the better preservation of their objects.  The highly interactive workshop covered: Read the rest of this entry »

Museums & Galleries Queensland

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Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

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