The preventive conservation programme at Rouen’s Departmental Museum of Antiquities

The Departmental Museum of Antiquities in Rouen also undertook a preventive conservation programme in 2003, its main objective being to alleviate overcrowdingf in its two on-site storerooms by transferring certain collections into a larger, external storage facility.

The preventive conservation consultancy which won the open tender produced a report in December 2003, which included
. a diagnosis of sanitary conditions,
. the phasing of operations aimed at a more appropriate distribution of the collections (30,000 items) in both internal and external storerooms, after renovation.

This three-year operation is designed to systematically inspect the objects, dust them and package them in appropriate containers enabling them to be transported without risk during the renovation of the storerooms. Specialist restorers will deal with any objects requiring intervention, within the framework of a long-term restoration project.
Once the storerooms have been renovated, the collections will be returned to their places in suitable storage units, classified according to conservation imperatives (degree of hygrometry, luminosity etc...)

The operational phase began in June with a four-day preventive conservation training programme for museum staff involved in the operation (15 people). This programme aroused great interest, and the entire staff was motivated by this shared project.
Since the beginning of the summer, teams of four people (a curator, a person in charge of the computerization of the collections, and two heritage officers) have taken it in turns to treat and wrap the objects. Their work is supervised by the preventive conservation consultancy, and specific protocols have been established according to the type of collection.