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STANDARD 7: Exhibit Location Assessment
The selected exhibit location must be assessed to ensure that it can provide a safe and non-hazardous environment for the objects on exhibit or that it can be sufficiently modified.
Once a location (exhibit space, room or gallery) has been selected, the exhibit conservator should assess the site to determine what conservation hazards are present. This will include assessing the site’s built features, its environmental quality, and the characteristics of the surrounding environment. The conservator will also consider how easily the location could be modified to decrease or mitigate any conservation hazards.
The location assessment is very important: It provides a picture of the type and level of threat present at the exhibit location and allows the exhibit team to focus attention on the most pressing threats to exhibit objects. Specifically, the location assessment will be used by the exhibit conservator to develop the conservation requirements for the exhibit objects.
Certain situations may warrant a more comprehensive assessment of the exhibit site to fully evaluate potential risks. Such assessments include Fire, Security, and Overall Risk Assessments and should usually be performed by the professionals who specialize in these areas. These comprehensive assessments may be called for if:
1) the exhibit objects are particularly significant
2) the proposed location has never served as an exhibit space before, or
3) the initial location assessment suggests that a follow-up is necessary.
Risk management and risk assessment, in particular, are becoming more common practices in museums. Risk assessment aims to rate the likelihood and intensity of different hazards, and thus is a useful tool for efficient allocation of resources. However, it is a time-consuming endeavor and itself requires considerable resources and personnel.
click on the individual Guidelines below to read more information
- Guideline 7.1: The exhibit conservator assesses the proposed exhibit location (and possible alternatives) to determine what environmental and security threats are present and what safeguards will be necessary to protect display collections.
- What are the benefits of assessing the proposed exhibit location?
- Why should a location be assessed for each new exhibit?
- What features should be evaluated during the conservation assessment of an exhibit location?
- Sample Assessment Forms
- Guideline 7.2: The conservator evaluates environmental monitoring data taken from the proposed location (and possible alternatives) as part of the assessment.
- Why is it important to collect environmental data from the proposed exhibit locations?
- How can the conservator obtain data on air quality conditions in the exhibit space?
- How is an Air Quality Monitoring Program implemented?
- Guideline 7.3: Additional specialized assessments of the exhibit location are performed when circumstances warrant.
- What circumstances warrant further specialized assessments?
- When should specialized assessments be scheduled?
- What is the purpose of a Risk Assessment?
- When is a Security Assessment warranted?
- What is the purpose of a Fire Hazard Assessment?
- Links to Websites: How is a Fire Risk Assessment conducted?