Before You Start (3 of 7)

How do I assess an object? (continued)

Loose parts

Examine the object for loose parts, such as lids or handles, as these will need to be removed and handled separately. Check for any areas of fragility, structural weakness, or damage – and for any loose surfaces that may be damaged by handling. If the object is not robust enough to move, contact a conservator.

Size and weight

Where appropriate, look inside objects to see if they contain anything that will affect their centre of gravity, or which could move around and get damaged. Estimate whether the object is light and small enough for one person to lift. If not, find someone who can help you lift or guide the object. Two people are better than one; even if the object is light enough to lift on your own, a second person is useful to hold doors open, operate lifts, etc. If the object is particularly large or unwieldy then it may require specialised lifting equipment. Ensure all users of this equipment are trained, and that the manufacturer’s guidelines are followed.


Check that the object has enough support. If it is in a box or a tray and can move about, it should be packed more securely.