The identifying plastics toolkit consists of an online identification route map, which you can use with objects from your own collection, and a travelling toolkit, which is a physical resource that you can borrow free of charge. It aims to familiarise you with the characteristics of the plastics most frequently encountered within museum collections and provide a methodology to help in their identification.
These guidelines on the labelling and marking of museum objects were developed by the Collections Trust with the help of Vivien Chapman at the National Conservation Centre, National Museums Liverpool (NML).
As part of its work with documentation standards the Collections Trust (and its predecessor body MDA) has, since the 1970s, been developing and maintaining a scheme which allows the identification of UK collection-holding organisations and their collections through “codes” which are unique to each organisation.
This resource explores re-numbering, suggests why it is a poor use of resources, and gives some examples of numbering problems and their solutions.
The ‘writing on the object’ marking technique involves the use of three substances (Paraloid B67 20% in white spirit; Paraloid B72 20% in acetone; Acetone) which if used incorrectly are potentially hazardous. Under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Legislation, it is the responsibility of each museum to carry out an assessment, and to develop internal guidelines to ensure safe working practice when using these chemicals.
In this short video, a conservator demonstrates the techniques for labelling and marking the paper objects within your collection.
To manage effective marking and labelling in a museum, it is important to have an organised ‘kit’ or box of equipment to hand. In this short video from SHARE Museums East, a conservator demonstrates what you will need in your basic label and marking kit.