An Ounce of Prevention
Preventive care, or curation, of artifacts whether they are in storage or display, insures that information locked inside is retained. Acid-free, museum-approved material are used for storing and exhibiting objects, minimizing chemical, physical, and biological decay. A controlled environment further reduces the chance of deterioration.
At the CCI, packing and storage techniques were chosen to suit the composition and size of the organic artifacts. After treatment by Parks Canada, larger organics were positioned onto acid-free matte board lined with polyethylene batting and cotton knit and placed in clear boxes. Smaller organics were surrounded with foam and packed in clear boxes. Some small samples of debris were placed inside glass vials, while larger debris was stored inside polyethylene bags. These were installed on special mounts and housed inside acid-free boxes lined with Ethafoam®. All of the artifacts are now curated at the HSMC archaeological laboratory, which is a secure, environmentally controlled facility. After treatments were performed on the coffins, they were packed and shipped back to HSMC. The smallest lead coffin is in storage, supported by a layer of Ethafoam® in a controlled environment. The wood from the coffins is stored flat in a cushioned cabinet in an environmentally stable area.