Physical Forces

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This is part of a Preventive Care series about the Ten Agents of Deterioration.

Definition of Physical Forces[edit | edit source]

Examples of damaging physical forces may include those that are fast and catastrophic including both natural disaster and human error (such as earthquakes, or bumping or dropping an object), or slower acting with minor but repeated opportunity for damage (such as improper handling during research and educational use, or vibrations from nearby construction). Physical force is also a risk for artifacts that do not have proper support on exhibit or in storage and may sag or become misshapen, or for objects that are not properly padded in boxes or drawers and may roll around when moved.

Prevention of Damage from Physical Forces[edit | edit source]

  • Proper storage of textiles can prevent damage from physical forces.
  • Photographs with glass components (such as glass-plate negatives) have special housing and storage requirements.
  • When setting up a conservation lab in an earthquake-prone area, special considerations such as extra bracing should be taken in regards to shelving and art storage within the lab.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Agent of Deterioration: Physical Forces

Workshop Vibrations in Collections and in Transport, Collectiecentrum Nederland, Amersfoort, 30 November 2023