Inside the Collections Care Project: Safety First

Dec 7, 2015

The construction effort at the heart of Historic New England’s Collections Care Project is almost finished. This means that the collection team will soon begin transporting nearly 25,000 objects from temporary storage into their new and improved storage space

This is not as simple as it sounds. The collection contains many fragile, unstable, and top-heavy objects which require additional care to keep them safe both during transport and while they are in storage. Our team created special enclosures to house and support the objects.

We focused our efforts in particular on tall bottles and bottle stoppers. Many of the bottles are top-heavy, which makes them vulnerable to everyday movements. To counter these vulnerabilities, we created tall boxes with padded compartments to safely fit each bottle.

We also faced the challenge of moving many bottle stoppers, which tend to roll when moved. To prevent this, we embedded them in large blocks of foam. Each bottle stopper has a designated area, which we carved out using a specialized foam-carving tool. Once in place, the stoppers can be safely transported without risk of rolling.

These are just a few examples of the types of objects that require special care. As we work through the collection, we continue to identify objects that need these specialized enclosures.

These enclosures improve the safety of our objects and help to preserve them for many years to come. You can support this effort by making a gift to the Collections and Conservation Fund.