Collection care in lockdown – things to consider

If your museum or gallery will be closed without any access check:

  • Can you safely leave the heating/building management system as is, if it can maintain stable conditions? If you do turn off any building management or heating systems check for risks, such as possible leaks as pipes cool down, do you need to call in someone under a service agreement to do this? Can you re-start systems without problems etc?
  • Are items locked in cases or stores where possible? Walk round and check that collections are as secure and protected from physical and environmental threats as can be.
  • How best can you protect any items on loan from other institutions? Try and ensure that you check these early on once you re-open and refer back to any condition reports you have. Report any concerns or changes to the lender. Think about your items out on loan in the same light.
  • Do you have remote access to building management systems or environmental monitoring systems to keep an eye on things? If a company manages your building management system check whether they have remote access to environmental readings that can be sent to you. If not, check what has happened as soon as possible after you re-open.
  • Ensure you have access to your emergency plan. If possible, check salvage supplies, prepare areas that commonly suffer leaks and work closely with any security team remaining so you are advised of possible problems. Check your call-out list to reflect who could possibly come in and who cannot due to the current situation and adjust your plan accordingly.

Click on the link on the right-hand side to view the PDF on the London Museum Development website.


Date created: 2020

Author: Collections Care Team

Publisher: London Museum Development