Archive for Angela

Specialised congress FOCUS: museum – depot arrangement and collection management

Meet the colleagues at Brandenburg / Havel
Foto: Fritz Fabert

From 15th until 17th of April 2019 the specialized congress FOCUS: museum takes place at the archaeological state museum in Brandenburg an der Havel. This year is all about depot arrangement and collection management.

In numerous speeches, case studies and discussion formats the three-day congress at the Paulikloster in Brandenburg an der Havel is devoted to the issues: integrated project management for new building and rebuilding or rather refurbishment of collection depots, removal management, logistics and transportations, collection management, security, emergency and risk management, pest prevention, storage technology, collection software, inventory, indoor climate, light protection, energy efficiency, conservational aspects, funding opportunities as well as operational concepts.

The FOCUS event covers various culture institutes like big and small museums, archives plus the special case archaeological collections.

In the attendant communication formats like workshops and a fishbowl discussion, but also a joint dinner on the first or rather a small get-together on the second day of the event, there is the possibility to establish contacts with the participants and to discuss interdisciplinary issues. As usual, technical products and a range of services offered by specialist companies will be presented on the area in the approximately 1000m ² historic nave.

The program, further information and tickets are here available: www.focus-museum.de.
FOCUS: MUSEUM is organized by the non-profit organization “Friends of the archaeological state museum Brandenburg e.V.” (FALB) by order and in collaboration with the Brandenburg state office for the preservation of monuments and archaeological state museum (BLDAM).

Übertragung aus dem Deutschen ins Englische von Lina Lassak.

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The Weather Fire Dwarfs or: Some Thoughts on Sensors – Part 3

I know what you are thinking after reading our first two parts of this series: What dataloggers should I buy to measure my climate? There are loads out there and some are pretty expensive!

Here’s the thing: What makes dataloggers expensive is accuracy, especially when it comes to measuring relative humidity. You can buy pretty cheap models, but what makes them cheap is usually cheap sensors. Now, you probably wonder how bad it is to have a cheap sensor. As nearly always, it’s a “depends”. Depending on what? Depending on how stable your “room climate” (although we already saw that there is no such thing) is and how accurate you need your measurement to be.

One thing you have to know is that sensors have a range they operate in, humidity sensors usually and logically between 0 and 100% relative humidity. Within this range they might vary in accuracy. Humidity sensors are typically most accurate in the middle range around 50% rH and become less accurate at the edges under 10% or over 90% rH, they also might become less accurate in very cold or very hot surroundings. Usually, you find these error ranges as graphs in the datasheet of each sensor or device.

That’s pretty theoretically, so I made a test to show you what this can mean (in retrospective I should have used a more diverse set of colors for the diagram, my apologies for that). I put in the same spot three sensors:

DHT22 (light green), corrected DHT22 (blue), generic SHT31 (dark blue), Sensirion SHT35 (green)

  1. A pretty cheap DHT22/AM2302 1 which is a very common temp/rH sensor in the maker/microcontroller scene and which you will find frequently in DIY devices. It is given with a normal accuracy of +/- 2% RH and +/- 5% RH maximum discrepancy (in which range it reaches this maximum discrepancy isn’t given).
    This is the light green line.
  2. A mid-priced generic Chinese version of a Sensirion SHT31 2 which you will also find in more refined DIY projects. It is also given with a +/- 2% RH accuracy.
    This is the dark blue line.
  3. A high-priced original Sensirion SHT35 3 which you will find in professional devices. It is given with an accuracy of +/- 1.5 % RH in a range between 0 and 80% relative humidity, which means it becomes less accurate above these values.
    This is the green line.
  4. In addition, you will find a blue line: This is the linear correction of the DHT22 sensor which is based on the measurements I did with this sensor compared to an Assmann psychrometer. I found the DHT22 was 31 percentage points off the “real” relative humidity I found with the Assmann at 55%. So, I subtracted 31 from the value the DHT22 measured. 4

So, what does the graph show us and what can we learn from it?

All sensors are pretty much the same when it comes to temperature. This tells us that if we only want to measure temperature, we can go with a cheap device.

When it comes to humidity, things become really interesting:

  1. The original DHT22 readings show a much too high humidity, something we already expected because of our measurements with the psychrometer. Naturally, as the sensor can only read 100% max, the lines are cut at 99.9%. As our correction of the sensor is mainly a linear subtraction, it transfers the straight line to 68.9% for our corrected values in these cases (blue line).
  2. The expensive original SHT35 and the cheaper generic SHT31 are not really far apart. When humidity crawls towards the 70% and over it, it seems that the cheaper one (dark blue line) measures a little less humidity than the expensive one (green line). 5
  3. What is really funny is that the cheap sensor seems to have a tendency to over-dramatize events. As we take a closer look at a drop (and later rise) in humidity on July 27 the DHT22 shows a dramatical decrease from 100% in the morning down to 49.7% at 3 p.m. Its corrected version sees an equally dramatic event from 68.9% to 18.7%. As we take a look at the other two sensors nothing this dramatic happens. The most expensive one sees a drop from 66.3% to 40.7%. Still a mild catastrophe if this were a gallery or storage room (it wasn’t), but a huge difference to have a 25% drop than a 50% drop.
  4. A close look at July 27

Especially the last point tells us a lot about cheap and expensive dataloggers. Not because cheap devices necessarily contain an old, beat up DHT22, but because it shows us the general problem with sensors: they are not necessarily acting linear. They’ll need adjusting.

Now, every adjusting is an expensive step. Devices are adjusted to reference points which means the manufacturer does more or less what I did with the DHT22: they measure it against a calibrated source (i.e. a salt solution) and then adjust the output accordingly.

If it is a cheap device it might be only adjusted to one reference point, resulting in what we see in the DHT22. Just because it was 31 percentage points off at 55%, this isn’t necessarily true for the whole range. Instead, it is very unlikely for a sensor to react linear throughout the whole spectrum. It will react differently for different humidity ranges. This is why expensive devices are measured to more reference points and calibrated accordingly, resulting in much more accurate readings throughout the whole range.

I assume that the generic SHT31 was also only tested against one reference point and that the difference we see in the readings against the original Sensirion when the humidity rises is already a sign of it, but as it is still within the possible error range, I can’t prove that.

For me personally, I wouldn’t use DHT22 anymore, for obvious reasons. I can live with the generic SHT31 for cases where I need to get an idea of a setting and in less problematic areas. I’d always go with the high-priced original parts if I have to depend on the readings for loans or critical storage environments.

So, more generally speaking: can I cut costs by buying a cheap device? Yes, if you just have to measure temperature. And yes, if the only thing you need is a rough idea of what happens in regards of rising and dropping or the humidity, but not detailed values. You have to be aware of the fact that it might show a more dramatic drop than what actually happened as well as it is thinkable that it shows you a less dramatic change than what actually happened.
You might want to turn to high quality products when it comes to your more critical applications and it’s always a good idea to take a critical look at the datasheets to know what you are buying.

May your storages and galleries always have a nice and stable climate!

Angela

  1. See full datasheet here: https://www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Sensors/Temperature/DHT22.pdf
  2. See details here: http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=162728071099&category=65460&pm=1&ds=0&t=1509175725000&ver=0
  3. See full datasheet of the Sensirion SHT 3x series here: https://www.sensirion.com/de/umweltsensoren/feuchtesensoren/digitale-feuchtesensoren-fuer-diverse-anwendungen/
  4. To be fair, I didn’t treat this particular sensor nice in the past years, so it was already a bit old and used. I have found a lot of DHT22 more close to original humidity values and usually don’t use sensors that are more than 2% off the mark for fieldwork. But as you read on, you will understand why I don’t use them for anything critical anymore.
  5. If I take the most extreme discrepancies, they are in the range of 2-3 percentage points, which would still mean they are in their acceptable error range if I grant one sensor to err on the plus and one to err on the minus side of its spectrum.
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Happy 6th Birthday, Registrar Trek!

Boxes, boxes, boxes…

The days around Christmas are usually a bit calmer and easy going than the rest of the year. For me, it’s traditionally the time to tidy up my room and prepare for the upcoming year. I usually end up with a lot of boxes, one saying “projects in the works” for things I started off working on but for one reason or the other couldn’t follow through. There are a lot of things inside this time and there would be even more if it could contain virtual things like blog posts.

Looking forward to 2019 I can see it becoming an even more stressful year than 2018, both at work and in private. So, while I will work on (and hopefully finish) some of the blog posts in my virtual “projects in the works” box, I also know that I won’t be able to hang around the usual forums of museum professionals this year and thus won’t be able to frequently place a “Hey, how about writing something for Registrar Trek?” when I stumble upon some great story.

Whether it’s hands-on or more about theory, we need your help!

So, now it’s up to you. I ask you to either contribute your own stories and articles or encourage others who did something you think should be featured here. I can provide some help with editing and of course, we do have our team of translators on board, but we need you to help us with new blog posts!

Best wishes
Angela

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The Weather Fire Dwarfs or: Some thoughts on sensors – Part 2

Picture by Alexas_Fotos via pixabay CC0

A common misconception is that sensors know the room temperature and relative humidity. They don’t. There is no weather fire dwarf who walks to the artifacts and says “Well, here we got 51% relative humidity”. A sensor measures what the temperature and humidity is right where it is. If it sits 2 meters above the ground, it may measure a beautiful 51% and 21 °C (70 °F) while your artifacts are overheating at 28 °C (82 °F) and dry out at 34% behind the glass in your display case with a badly done light installation. You might panic glancing at the 32 °C (90 °F) in your gallery while in fact it’s just that direct sunlight falling on your sensor. Or, for that matter, it’s placed over one of those heaters and gets roasted.

One of the difficulties you face when you decide on where to put a datalogger is that only in very rare cases there is something like a “room climate”. In most rooms, there are several climates. There is that outside wall that is always a little colder than the rest of the room. There is that wall that has bright sunlight from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in winter and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in summer. There is the space at the entrance which always gets a flush of cold and damp air as soon as someone opens the door. Then, there are your display cases.

All things try to reach equilibrium, which means that they strive to reach a common room climate, but while doing so, they create different and sometimes problematic room climates. The warmer air will inevitably go to the colder areas, but when reaching there, the once nice 51 % at 21 °C (70 °F) might become 68% in that 16 °C (61 °F) corner of two outside walls. 1

To get a good idea of what happens where in your room or gallery, you might wish to place several sensors. Life and the museum sector being what it is, you probably don’t have money to do that. What you can do, however, is measure at different areas, moving your datalogger to get an idea what happens where. Then, for the permanent location of your datalogger, choose the place that captures the climate your artifacts experience best.

Next up, we want to take a look at the difference between cheap and pricey sensors, which is – besides other things like WiFi functionality – what determines the price of a datalogger.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this article.

  1. Fun fact: This is why you often end up with a damper cellar when you try to dry it out by opening the windows in summer, but have a good chance to succeed in winter.
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»Registrars Deutschland e.V.« get the Riegel – KulturBewahren award 2018

Professional association gets the award endowed with 2,200 Euro

On the 8th of November 2018 the award “Riegel – KulturBewahren. Preis für Schutz, Pflege und Ausstellen von Kunst- und Kulturgut” (The Lock Bar – Preserving Culture. Award for safeguarding, caring and exhibiting of art and cultural heritage) was granted. The award that comes with an endowment of 2,200 Euro went to the »Registrars Deutschland e.V.«

Happy winners – designated laudator: Professor Dr Susanne Kähler (laudator), Nicole Schmidt and Volker Thiel (Registrars Deutschland e.V.) and Berthold Schmitt (initiator „Riegel – KulturBewahren“) (left to right)
© SchmittART / Foto: Hedwig Schweda


Perfect managers of time and data
“They must be state of the art, know what’s ethical, what’s legal and what’s efficient. They need a stern and discerning eye, but also a good sense of proportion by not asking for too much in regards to security from not so well-off institutions. Resolution and diplomacy are likewise important skills.” This is how laudator Susanne Kähler, professor for Museum Studies at the HTW Berlin, outlined the occupational profile of the registrar.

Central hub of manifold functions
The association Registrars Deutschland e.V. was founded 2004, one of the reasons being to actively raise awareness and understanding for the work and the significance of the registrar in museums, collections and exhibitions. In the meantime, the association has more than 140 members who meet for annual assemblies, workshops and further trainings. Networking is done on an international level.

Reasons for the award 2018
Part of a registrar’s job is everything that has to do with the movement and storage of artworks and cultural heritage inside and between museums. Furthermore, the occuptional profile encompasses transport, (inter-)national loans, packing, documentation and registration, as well as cataloging, security and insurance – registrars are perfect managers of time and data (Kähler).
In Germany, registrars are known for over 30 years for a wide range of manual, technical, commercial and legal processes regarding the handling of artworks and cultural objects of all kind. In spite of this central function this professional guild is working comparably invisible inside the cultural institutions. The award Riegel – KulturBewahren is aiming to make a contribution to foster understanding for the work and significance of the registrar. One of this aims is to develop commonly approved standards and enforce them throughout the area of responsibility of the registrar.

Volker Thiel and Nicole Schmidt, chair and vice chair of the Registrars Deutschland e.V. have accepted the award and the 2,200 Euro grant on behalf of the registrars. Both were clearly moved by the attention and recognition that the award Riegel – KulturBewahren means.
Around 70 experts from museums, associations and businesses took part in the awarding ceremony at the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig. The event on the 8th of November was part of the 5th international conference “KULTUR!GUT!SCHÜTZEN! Sicherheit und Katastrophenschutz für Museen, Archive und Bibliotheken” (Culture!Property/good!Preserve! Security and emergency preparedness for museums, archives and libraries).


Outstanding private commitment

“Riegel – KulturBewahren”: solid protection for art and cultural heritage
© SchmittART / Foto: Hedwig Schweda, Leipzig

Again in 2018 the grant is completely funded from private donors. It stems from companies that offer solutions and know-how that help to properly preserve, protect and exhibit artworks and cultural heritage. The following companies support “Riegel – KulturBewahren 2018″:

• ArchiBALD Regalanlagen GmbH & Co. KG, Dissen (Superior)
• Dussmann Service Deutschland GmbH, Leipzig (Sponsoring)
• hasenkamp Holding GmbH, Köln (Premium)
• IBB • Ingenieurbüro Bautechnischer Brandschutz, Leipzig (Premium)
• Image Access GmbH, Wuppertal (Classic)
• miniClima Schönbauer GmbH, Wiener Neustadt (Classic)
• SchmittART. Beratung │ Konzeption | Public Relations, Leipzig (Classic)
• Tandem Lagerhaus und Kraftverkehr Kunst GmbH, Frechen (Superior)
• Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH, Köln (Premium)

The Riegel – KulturBewahren
There are many awards for creating artworks. But when it comes to preserving mobile art and artifacts there is next to nothing comparable in Germany and Europe, at least no awards that go along with a grant. It is the aim of “Riegel – KulturBewahren. Preis für Schutz, Pflege und Ausstellen von Kunst- und Kulturgut” (The Lock Bar – Preserving Culture. Award for safeguarding, caring and exhibiting of art and cultural heritage) to change this. The “Riegel” was first awarded in 2016, the minimum grant is 500 Euro.

The awarding of the “Riegel – KulturBewahren 2018″ is a common initiative of SiLK – SicherheitsLeitfaden Kulturgut (security guideline for cultural heritage), Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance) and SchmittART.

The award itself is an initiative of the professional periodical “KulturBetrieb. Magazin für innovative und wirtschaftliche Lösungen in Museen, Bibliotheken und Archiven” (Culture business. Periodical for innovative and economical selutions in museums, libraries and archives) and the online portal “KulturBewahren. Forum für Bewahrung, Pflege, Sicherheit und Präsentation von Kunst- und Kulturgut” (Preserving culture. Forum for preservation, caring, safeguarding and exhibiting of art and cultural heritage) .

Information / Contact
SchmittART, Wielandstraße 5, D-04177 Leipzig
Dr. Berthold Schmitt
Tel 0049 / 341 / 5296524
Mobil 0049 / 1522 / 2807125
mail@schmitt-art.de
www.riegel-preis-kulturbewahren.de

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Other duties as assigned

Samuel Serpent


One of our readers recently discovered this about 3 foot long Garter snake in the storage. Integrated Pest Management included to relief that poor fellow from the ball of packing tape that stuck to him/her.

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The Weather Fire Dwarfs or: Some Thoughts on Sensors Part 1

Picture by Brett_Hondow CC0 via pixabay

When I think about my early childhood, there is one picture that comes up from time to time: It’s my grandfather standing before the so called “weather station”, a wooden panel with three brass gauges: a thermometer, a hygrometer and a barometer. Then my grandfather gently knocked against the glass lid of the barometer with his knuckle and checked the barometer again. As a child I was convinced he woke up the little worker inside, who in return checked if the weather would become fair, rainy or if it was changing. This made perfect sense to me, because I knew there was a special force responsible for the weather: the weather fire dwarfs. After the evening news the news anchor would say “And now the weather fire dwarfs for tomorrow”. It was much later that I asked my mom and she explained to me that it wasn’t the “Wetterfeuerzwerge” (weather fire dwarfs), but the “Wettervorhersage” (weather forecast). Until then, I was convinced that being a weather fire dwarf was just a job like being a firefighter, a baker or a teacher. They looked out for the weather and made assumptions on how it was going to be. It also made perfect sense that this job was done by dwarfs, given the small instruments they needed to operate in.

You might wonder where I’m heading to with those seemingly random childhood memories? Now, my grandfather certainly did neither wake up the little weather fire dwarf, nor did he perform some other kind of magic. He just made sure the barometer, which had a small metal box called an aneroid for measuring the pressure inside, was showing the tendency. When you tap them, the pointer will move to the current pressure, giving you an indication if the air pressure is rising or falling. He also knew that the little markers that read “very stormy”, “rain”, “change”, “fair” and “very dry” were not to be take literally. In winter “fair” weather often meant it became very cold. He not only looked at the barometer – he also knew how to interpret what he saw.

Fast forward to 2018 I struggle with explaining the use and the accuracy of sensors to colleagues. I can’t fight the feeling that digital has somehow taken a toll on our imagination and our expectations towards instruments. It’s especially true for hygrometers, as humidity is far more complicated to measure exactly than temperature 1. A digital hygrometer usually provides you with two digits behind the comma. So instead of reading a little above 50% on the analog hygrometer it provides you with a straight 51.23 % relative humidity. That’s astounding. Sadly, it doesn’t mean what people think it means. Because it seems to provide such an exact figure, people assume it’s more accurate than the analog reading of grandpa’s old weather station. But it isn’t necessarily so. If it’s a very good digital humidity sensor with a 1.5% accuracy the reading will mean it’s somewhat 50 to 52ish. If it is a more common sensor with a given 5% accuracy it tells you that it can be anything along the lines of 46 to 56% 2

Picture by Alexas_Fotos via pixabay CC0

But why are they giving two digits behind the comma anyway, is this just a fancy feature? Yes and no. For that, we have to understand the difference between accuracy and resolution, both specifications you will find when you are buying a datalogger or sensor. What we just talked about is the accuracy. The resolution is often higher than the accuracy. Your humidity sensor might have an accuracy of +/- 2% RH, but a resolution of 0.1. This seems like a contradiction at first, but it isn’t. Let us imagine a little weather fire dwarf who is able to feel how wet it is. He says: “It’s 52%”. Now, while we saw that this can mean anything between 50% and 54%, if we send him out again, he will be able to tell us if it is becoming wetter or dryer than before. And he will be able to tell us more detailed than he can do it with the general humidity. He is able to say: “It’s getting damper, now it’s 52.1%.” So, while the digits behind the comma mean nothing in terms of general humidity, they can help us understand where the climate of a room is heading to and how severe the changes are. If you measure every 5 minutes and get a reading of 52.1%, 52.3%, 52.2%, 52.1%, 52.2% and 52.1% over half an hour it will tell you something else than a series that reads 52.0%, 52.2%, 52.3%, 52.4%, 52.6%, 52.8%. While both series can still mean it’s 2% more or less humid, the tendency of the second series shows that something is going on which makes the room damper. Think of the resolution as a measurement that helps you to see change, just like grandpa tapping on that old barometer.

Next up, we will ask the question if sensors really read the temperature and humidity of a room.
Here comes the 2nd part…

Angela

  1. Which is also the reason why you get temperature sensors for just a few cents while you can invest a good deal of money in good humidity sensors
  2. Fun fact: the accuracy given by loggers in +/- percentage values are not standardized. So, a 5% accuracy can mean it is 5 percentage points off or it can mean that it is really 5% off of your reading. This leaves you either with a range between 46 and 56% or between about 48.5. And 53.5% for 51% relative humidity. As most datalogger and sensor manufacturers refuse to document what their accuracy percentage means, I always assume it’s the worst of both possibilities.
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Favorite Tools: The Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Or: Some heroes wear nozzles!

Kärcher WD 5.600 MP

I wanted to do a series on a registrar’s favorite tools in a while but somehow never have gotten around doing it. As I have written in a previous post this summer surprised us with heavy rain falls and so I decided that I’ll start this one of with the unsung hero of leaking roofs, pipe bursts and badly shutting gates: The wet-dry vacuum cleaner.

As the name suggest, they are usually outfitted to do both: to vacuum water AND dry stuff. But here’s the thing: they can only do one of those things at once. Therefore, it’s usually preferable to assign one vacuum cleaner for wet-only use. If you can’t afford two vacuum cleaners, I’d suggest making sure this one is always emptied at the end of the working day, so you don’t accidentally end up with a tank full of muddy dust, grime and sawdust that is nearly impossible to empty.

Now, what should you consider when buying a wet-dry vacuum cleaner? They come in a wide range of prices and functionalities, so it is like always a big “depends”. But here are some thoughts:

Capacity is often a big factor for the price, so you should ask yourself which scenario is most likely to happen. The occasional leaking roof is a big risk for the artifacts but usually just leaves small water puddles. So, a small tank with a capacity of only 10 to 20 liters will probably be enough, even if it means you have to go a few times and empty it. If your usual suspect is an insufficient drain system that leads to water coming back from the sinks and the toilets (yuck!) as soon as there is slightly more rain than usual, you probably need a larger tank. If this happens on a regular basis or large amounts of water are involved, you might want to look for a sump pump and the installation of a backflow trap.

Nilfisk Alto Aero 25

Next, you should consider handling. The picture on the right shows the one I have at home. As I bought it mainly to help with keeping the workshop tidy, I gave less thought on its ability to vacuum water. The thing is that in order to empty the tank, you have to remove the whole top. And, as it doesn’t have a handle or separate outlet for the water, all you can do is lift it up somehow and empty it to the drain, which is quite an effort given its capacity of 20 liters. The vacuum cleaner in our storage, the yellow one you see in the top picture, has a handle that allows you to operate the tank just like a bucket (with wheels!) once you have removed the top, which makes it much easier to tilt and empty it over a drain. Even better: it has a drain plug at the bottom that allows to empty it without having to remove the top or tilt it altogether.

Speaking of wheels: if you do have to move your vacuum cleaner over larger distances and uneven ground how good the wheels are and how easy it is to move around can also be a determining factor in your buying decision.

One thing closely related to handling is the response time. As I said at the beginning it’s always best to have your vacuum cleaner for wet-only use. But if you can’t have one what it takes to convert your dry into a wet vacuum cleaner can determine your decision. For example: With my blue one, I have to remove the filter bag and the filter cartridge and put a special textile bag which serves as a fine filter over the motor before I can vacuum water. If I miss that step, I will destroy the vacuum cleaner. With the yellow one I’m good to go as soon as I have removed the filter bag. I do have to remember, however, that in this case I’m NOT allowed to remove the filter cartridge as it is necessary to protect the motor and if I do it like I would do with my vacuum cleaner at home I would inevitably destroy the device.

Closely related is the question if the vacuum cleaner can be operated in all corners of your storage or museum. So, how long the power cord is can be a factor in your decision. But even if your vacuum cleaner does have a rather long power cord, chances are that it is still not sufficient for that special far away corner of your storage. You may want to test out the action radius of your vacuum cleaner BEFORE the first incident and want to store it together with a cable drum of sufficient length.

Another important question is maintenance. This involves how easy it is to clean and to repair. You sometimes see no-name vacuum cleaners at a bargain price, but you should take a close look at the parts that are most likely to get lost or broken. The nozzles, for example, should be a standard size you get in every DIY store, not some exotic caliber that is a standard in the North-Western Black Forest. Same with the bags, filters and screws. All parts should be easy to disassemble and clean because you will inevitably suck some strange thing in that will get stuck half way in the hose. In that case it should be easy to remove the hose and clean it.

Some “Gotcha!” things are not so obvious: For example, I talked about leaving the filter cartridge in place with our yellow one. Now, here’s the thing: Of course, the cartridge, which is made of some sturdy paper plastics mixture, gets wet when I vacuum water. In order to dry it, I have to remove it after use. One thing is that I have to remember to put it back or the next one who uses the vacuum cleaner will destroy it. And the other is that I’m not completely comfortable having a soaking wet paper thingy around my storage because I always fear mold. I probably consider how this problem is solved in future purchases.

Your own vacuum cleaner will probably need some special skills we haven’t considered so far. Maybe you do have a lot of water in your storage occasionally but also sometimes only small puddles. In this case you might want to look for a vacuum cleaner which can also be operated as a pump by adding an additional hose for transporting the water directly to a drain. Or you have water in hard to reach places, so you might want to look for a model that has a telescopic suction tube or multiple attachable suction tubes to reach there. Sometimes being able to turn the device to blow instead of suck can come in handy (our yellow one has that functionality). Whatever it is, make sure your superhero has all the superpowers it needs!

It’s a favorite tool I wish you all will never need to use in an emergency!

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There’s Whiskey in the jar – What we actually did.

After our poll you might have asked yourself what we did with the whiskey wagons in the end?

Emptied Whiskey Bottle

Well, we emptied the one that was already open as we considered the whiskey could probably evaporate over time and damage the wagon. The plug already looked a wee bit suspicious. We left the sealed bottle untouched. We didn’t accession the whiskey as we assumed that if the whiskey itself will become a subject of research, scientists could still examine the whiskey in the sealed bottle. Of course, we documented all of this in our database.

Full disclosure: Our expert on all things whiskey said it will not get better or gain more value if stored in a bottle, but he also assured us that it should still be good. Strangely enough, none of us was willing to volunteer tasting it.

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Registrar Trek goes London!

I’m all excited that I was chosen to speak at the European Registrars Conference in London, taking place November 17-19 (see full program here: http://www.erc2018.org/programme/programme/ ). I will represent the TECHNOSEUM (www.technoseum.de) and speak on “Collections management by the truckload” or how to get a grip on large collections. Time to share with you all the ups and downs of managing the thousands of objects that hit my colleagues and me when we accepted a large collection of advertising materials, a collection from a former radio museum and a collection of broadcasting equipment from our state’s broadcasting company. It will also be a great opportunity to meet old and new friends.

Hope to meet some of you in person there!

Angela

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