Update from the Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre – October 2015

By Moya Sherriff, Administrator, Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre

At the end of this year the Air Force Museum will be taking back the Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre (CCCRC) space and using it for its intended purpose as a Conservation and Restoration Workshop for large objects. As we are moving into the final 60 days of operation the pace is certainly accelerating to get these precious collections ready to move on to their new locations.

Some groups have found new homes and are moving offsite, while others who need further storage support are busy packing items into large boxes or pallets ready for the bulk store phase of the CCCRC. The bulk store will provide storage only in one of the Air Force Museum’s other buildings until 2018. During December we will be doing one big swap over, moving aircraft and workshop machinery into the CCCRC space, while things like the Nurses Memorial Chapel’s church pews will move into the old workshop hangar.

Members from the Nurses Memorial Chapel preparing Church Pews for long term storage

For those staying, the aim over the next few months is to ensure everything is easily movable and well protected. We are creating coats of protection for objects, which will moderate any potential temperature and humidity fluctuations or light exposure threats, as the items will not be able to be so regularly checked. Following museum standards we have been packing objects using inert materials, housing metal with metal and paper with paper etc, supporting objects appropriately, and ensuring they won’t move or vibrate when the transfer happens.

With so many organisations still without a home, to save on space we are using massive, pallet-size, triple thickness cardboard boxes, that can be stacked two high on a plastic pallet.

Some groups have gone for small boxes into a big pallet-size box, while others with more complicated objects have decided to pad and create compartments within the large bin.

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Compartment style packaging, Lyttelton Museum collection 

For those items that are a little bigger, heavier or don’t fit into a large box, we have had to get a bit creative. Placing two boxes together can accommodate longer objects, while placing furniture on flat deck pallets secured with padded angle brackets and polypropylene straps stops away sideways movement and allows for easy transport. All these options are completely covered with polythene or the lid of box, stopping any potential dust settling on our precious cargo.

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Members from the St John History Unit, securing pallet box to plastic pallet

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