mobile storage systems

Museum Mobile Storage Systems and the 10 Agents of Deterioration

Museums contain some of the most valuable and priceless artifacts on Earth in their inventory. Without effective and efficient mobile storage systems, the historical items in their storage can fall victim to the “10 Agents of Deterioration”. Museums need to ensure that their highly valuable inventory is securely protected and that their storage space is maximized with efficient mobile storage systems.

why they so important for museums mobile storage systems:

  • Water

Water leaks created from natural occurrences and other failures can risk warping and damaging the valuable artifacts and other items in storage.

  • Neglect

This can come from not only losing items themselves but also losing the information associated with items such as dates, locations and names. The main contributor to item neglect is the incorrect storage of items and lack of preservation.

  • Light

Light, whether natural or artificial, can cause damage to many items that museums store and display. This is why most museums have darker lighting and incorporate LED lights that don’t generate heat or UV (Ultraviolet) rays.

  • Fire

Fire, apart from common accidents and electrical faults, also relates to the conditions and environment of the museum as well. Apart from the obvious damage fire creates, it also will create soot and ash which can spread and maximize the damage caused by a fire.

  • Theft

Security is also a major concern when important and priceless museum artifacts are in storage. If items are not securely stored, then they are at risk of theft from trespassers and even other members of staff.

  • Pests

Pests such as silverfish and mice can be a threat to items such as historical documents and ancient books. This is why museums require effective mobile storage systems that can completely enclose and seal the item inside when in storage.

  • Chemical Deterioration

Inherent vice plays a big role when it comes to chemical deterioration of items stored in a museum as various materials can chemically break down naturally over time. Oxidation is also another threat as it causes discoloration of delicate materials such as paper.

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  • Physical Force

This can come from anything such as an earthquake, construction in certain sections of the museum, people accidentally walking into displays, vibrations from staff moving objects in storage and more. This is why mobile storage systems that utilize low profile tracks ensure stable and smooth operation when retrieving and storing objects.

  • Incorrect Humidity

Humidity is tied to temperature and needs to be constantly regulated. Low humidity creates a dry atmosphere which can cause objects to dry out and crack, while high humidity creates moisture which can cause damage such as corrosion in metals and mould growth. Museums use hygrometers to monitor their humidity levels and ensure a consistent level of around 50% RH (Relative Humidity), although it does depend on the individual item’s materials.

  • Incorrect Temperature

Museums need to have a regulated temperature of around 21°C. If items are stored in an inconsistent temperature as little as 2 degrees higher or lower within a 24-hour period, it can deteriorate their material such as fabric and cloth from textiles.

High-quality mobile storage systems play an important role for museums in ensuring that their irreplaceable items are secure and protected when in storage. As a war museum would contain widely different types of items and collections when compared to a natural history museum, each museum will have different storage needs and requirements.

To ensure your priceless and irreplaceable items are secure, protected and preserved when in storage, search online for a mobile storage systems provider today.

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