Category talk:Historic Building & Collection Hazards

From Wiki

The following notes are from a 9/21/2015 conference call on developing this wiki page for the benefit of the conservation and allied professional community. --RPArenstein (talk) 17:50, 24 September 2015 (CDT)

What is the vision for the resource?

A portal pulling together current research on management of commonly found hazards in historic house and small museum collections

Who is the intended audience?

  • Small museum administrators
  • Collection staff (if present),
  • Volunteers,
  • Students,
  • Allied professionals e.g. architects, contractors, who are contacted to assist

Content of resource

There is extensive material written by AIC's Health & Safety committee that is relevant to this project. These resources are generally meant for conservators but some will be relevant and can be supplemented with other non-AIC resources and new, purpose written content that is reviewed by a industrial hygienist or safety professional.
While organizing resources for conservators by structural, chemical, and biological categories makes sense for conservators, this is not how we suspect that the intended audience of allied professionals would most intuitively use the site. Therefore the proposed organization is as follows.

Building & Building System Hazards

  • Lead Paint
  • Asbestos
  • Toxic wallpaper materials
  • Old electrical insulation
  • Fluorescent lights with PCBs
  • Old gas lines and gas lights
  • Old wells
  • Floor loads


Collection Hazards

  • Radioactive material
  • Pesticides
  • Historic firearms, weapons & ordnance
  • Historic medical, scientific and pharmaceutical collections
  • Food stuffs
  • Furnishings (e.g. arsenic treatment of rugs in 19th century, asbestos stuffing in furniture)
  • Taxidermy/Trophy mounts
  • Tin Amalgam mirrors
  • Lead and pewter

Additional content notes

  • Each section should contain information on how to identify the hazard, how to mitigate and where to go for further advice and expertise.
  • Historic references - to practices that have resulted in hazardous collections "e.g. a 19th century publication describing how rugs should be bathed in arsenic solutions to prevent pest damage".
  • Images depicting these hazards (e.g. medical bottles, lead figurines, sofas with asbestos stuffing)
  • Charts and tables to facilitate rapid reference e.g. Quick guide to hazards in the basement, Quick guide to hazards in the attic

Next steps

Follow-up call: Next call is scheduled for November 2015. Please contact Collection Care Network Chair Becky Fifield with comments or suggestions.