Conservation and Collections Care

The conservation and collections care department maintains the Museum of London’s collections, restoring and protecting the treasures of the city’s history.

Specialist skills

Conservators are able to use their specialist skills to stabilise fragile and deteriorating objects and carry out often painstakingly careful cleaning so that they can be put on display.

Sometimes fragments of damaged objects are put back together, or missing parts of the object are filled, to make it whole again – these are processes known as ‘restoration’, a term which is often confused with ‘conservation’, which refers to the stabilising and cleaning of the object.

Taking care of our collections

An important part of the department’s work is collection care, where we ensure that temperature, humidity, light, dust and pest levels in the displays and stores are carefully controlled. Much of this work cannot be physically seen, but without this the bulk of our collections would be actively deteriorating.

Materials

Although there are conservators specialising in most materials within the conservation profession, in the Museum of London we have conservators in the fields in which we have the most needs:

  • archaeology
  • applied arts (historical objects)
  • paper
  • textiles
  • collection care.

The Museum of London actively supports museums and archives in the greater London area. For more information on how to handle, store and protect museum objects, view our e-learning and self-assessment tools.