You’ve been away for far too long so it’s important to check your facilities and collection. Ideally everything would be as if you just left the day before, nevertheless not every museum is that lucky. So, here are some topics you should pay attention to, before re-opening doors:
Make sure you give a good round of attention to both your exhibition galleries, storage areas and working places:
- What would you be looking for? Everything that is not supposed to be there, such as insects, a mold outbreak, water drops, dust, damaged scenography, fused lamps, etc.
- Also search for any missing items: collection objects or technical equipment
- Check your solvents and cleaning products storage for spillage
Try to find the cause why those faults happened in the first place (so that you can prevent it from happening again)
Ensure that all anomalies are noted and reported (and attended asap)
Audio-Visual Media and Communications Operationality (TV’s, interactive boards, computers, printers, telephones, etc.)
Re-plug all devices (make sure you give them time to reboot)
- Watch out for short circuits!
Fix all devices with malfunctions, PLEASE check that with the responsible technicians
Housekeeping (specific for the facilities, not for your collection)
A good cleaning is fundamental: hallways, service spaces, showcases, floors, even walls must be thoroughly cleaned
Should you just pulverize everything with the proper disinfectants? No, they’ll probably damage the collection!
- Be careful with the products you use: bleach, alcohol and so, can damage your collection, PLEASE check with your conservator-restorer for the suitable ones
Use the usual amount of water you would normally do: pay attention to RH changes!
Collection Conservation Issues
Check your data loggers and analyses the information:
- If you find abnormal fluctuations of temperature and/or RH you must pay extra attention to your collection for biological activity, metal oxidation, dryness or brittleness of organic materials
- Try to understand what went wrong: did your dehumidifiers or humidifiers not worked properly, why? Did you have some water seepage, where did it come from? Did the AVAC system broke down? etc.
- Make sure those malfunctions are solved, so they won’t happen again
Your collection must be cleaned:
- Use dry methods, such as soft cloths or soft brushes and low-suction vacuum cleaners
Small interventions must be required:
- Some may be urgent others not so much, PLEASE check with your conservator-restorer for the suitable ones.
Now you are ready for “Re-opening Day”, put on your best smile and give a good welcome to your visitors… they are also happy to see you again!