Assessing the storage needs of a large county museum collection ‘for now and for the future’ Nigel Larkin, 2021.

In 2021, Nigel Larkin assessed a county museum’s diverse collection of specimens and artefacts that are currently spread across half a dozen different stores, each with different access and environmental issues making them less than ideal. Not only were the various conservation and access issues identified but the whole collection was surveyed in detail to quantify the total storage space that would be required if a new, single store was built to accommodate the entire collection, plus space to allow conservation and curatorial work to take place on the site as well as allowing space for expansion over the next 30 years – so the rate of acquisitions had to be worked out and the average yearly volume of specimens acquired quantified as well. Advice was given on the logistics, conservation issues and health and safety aspects of the potential project to decant all the specimens across the museum collections and advice was also given on the design of the potential new build.

This project entailed several days on site assessing the collection, then writing up the report back at base. The result was a well-received 30-page report of 14,000 words plus a selection of PDFs of relevant papers outlining best practice in managing mixed collections and designing new museum stores.

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