Object handling
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Object handling. Most damage happens when handling objects Minimal handling Good labeling in storage Good description, image of object in database/catalogue Careful planning and handling in exhibition installation / de-installation Transit and loans. Handling guidelines.

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Object handling

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Object handling

  • Most damage happens when handling objects

  • Minimal handling

    • Good labeling in storage

    • Good description, image of object in database/catalogue

    • Careful planning and handling in exhibition installation / de-installation

    • Transit and loans


Handling guidelines

  • Check condition of object before handling

  • Move one item at a time

  • Do not lift an object over an other

  • Never lift from a protruding part, handle from most stable part

  • Use trolleys, trays, tubs, crates to move from one place to another

  • Have the object properly supported


Guidelines continued...

  • Prepare a space to put the item

  • Check the route

  • With heavy, awkward & large objects ask for help

  • Wear gloves to avoid finger marks, grease and sweat from hands

  • If object is slippery and cannot wear gloves use clean hands


Handling tools


Trays, crates, tubs


Pallet jack


Gloves


Paper fingers


Pillow support


Condition reporting

  • Assess the physical condition of the object

    = how well preserved the object is

  • Description of general condition

  • Extent and location of damage

  • Assess the need for a conservation treatment


When to do a condition report?

  • Done as part of accessioning process

  • For items going on exhibition

  • For items going out for loan or coming in for loan

  • For touring exhibitions


Why condition report?

  • Base line to assess whether object has deteriorated over time and how

  • Legally establish the condition of on object when it comes in as loan and is returned

  • Cumulative condition reports for touring exhibitions to identify time/place of damage


Condition of an object may be affected by

  • Inherent factors

    • natural degradation of materials

    • weakness in construction / manufacture process

  • Damage

    • wear and tear

    • accidental damage – chips, dents, tears, rips

    • environment - insects, mold, water, light, humidity

    • transport – poor packing, vibration, sub optimal storage


Condition report – how ?

  • Describe condition in standard terms or plain clear English

  • Photograph the object both front and back - mark damage on overlay it & date

  • Start from general and proceed to details

  • Describe type, location and extent/size of damage


Type of damage

  • Any breaks, chips, dents, gouges, flaking, separating of layers, peeling etc.

  • Marks, soiling, accretions etc.


Location and extent/size of damage

  • Location of damage

    • 2-dimensional objects (paper, photographs, paintings) – zones or quadrants

    • 3 dimensional objects – parts, zones

  • Extent of damage

    • Scattered = random, in spots or patches

    • General/overall = more extensive, over the entire object

  • Size of the damage

    • Extensive >marked>moderate>slight/minor>negligible

    • Measure the size of damage eg. diameter of largest spots


Describe also

  • Any treatments, additions, changes made to object

  • Possible need for a treatment


Examining the object

  • Unhurried, gather all equipment

  • Clean, uncluttered, well lit area

  • Padded surface to avoid accidental damage

  • Use pencil to take notes

  • Use cloth measuring tape, not metal one

  • Wear gloves, remove jewellery

  • Te Papa National Services Resource Guide

    • ‘Condition reporting’


Writing up the report

  • Identifying number – accession number

  • Brief description of object

  • Measurements

  • Examiner’s name and date

  • Object composition

  • Types of damage

  • Extent of damage

  • Location of damage

  • Previous repairs

  • Draw or photograph (scale and date)

    Remember to date and sign


Sample condition report


Making overlays


Condition reporting exercise


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