INSITE / February-April / Hazards in Collections

INSITE / Cover/ February-April / Hazards in Collections

The February-April 2019 issue of INSITE on the theme ‘Hazards in Collections’ has five articles about our Hazards theme and additional articles from and about museums and galleries in the sector. Below is a list of the issue’s contents and associated links for each article. For information about how to get a copy you can contact our office or via our website.

A Collection That Glows: handling and storage of radioactive material in the Society and Technology collections at Museums Victoria (pages 2-3)
There are many types of hazardous materials that can reside in objects and materials housed in collections and on display. Their management requires awareness across a range of associated issues such as risk assessment, storage and handling and disposal procedures. The primary focus of any interaction with potential hazards in collections is the protection of staff, volunteers and the public. In this article Nick Crotty, Collections Manager, Scienceworks, Museums Victoria, outlines the hazards associated with radioactive objects that includes disposal when they present a risk for ongoing management.
Victorian Department of Health and Human Services:
DLead supplier:

Being Prepared: minimising fire risk (page 4)
Preventing fires in museum buildings and collections requires ongoing vigilance. In this article David Elms, Curator, Ballarat East Fire Station, identifies some common fire hazards and shares some preventative measures.
Ballarat East Fire Station is on Victorian Collections:

The Challenge of Preserving Plastics in Textile Collections (page 5)
In this article Conservator, Bronwyn Cosgrove, outlines the development of synthetic fibres and the preservation challenges stemming from their presence alongside other items in collection stores. Bronwyn Cosgrove is a former Senior Conservator of Textiles at the National Gallery of Victoria and is currently undertaking a PhD investigating the challenges and solutions to effectively preserve plastics in textile collections.

What’s in My Bin? (page 6)
This is a great time of year to take some time to revisit disaster plans, check disaster bins and review handling procedures for accidents. In this article, Noni Zachri, Paper and Photographs Conservator, Grimwade Centre for Cultural materials Conservation, explains some preventative measures to implement and takes a look at what’s inside a disaster bin.
Be Prepared: Guidelines for small museums for writing a disaster preparedness plan is available through the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials’ website:

Safety Out Front: museums, visitors and hazards (Page 7)
In this article Maryanne McCubbin, Head, Strategic Collection Management, Museums Victoria, takes us through some front-of-house safety issues and how museums have adapted to the expectations of contemporary visitors.
Ferguson, Fiona, “Man gets six-year term for damaging €10m Monet painting,” The Irish Times, 4 December, 2014:
The Guardian, 25 August, 2015:
Tremain, David, “Agents of Deterioration: Thieves and Vandals.” Canadian Conservation Institute:
Rasmussen, Carolyn, A Museum for the People: A history of Museum Victoria and its predecessors 1854-2000. Scribe Publications, Melbourne, p.185,250:
Arts Council England, Security in museums and galleries: the museum security toolkit: A practical guide, 2013. The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, Security in Museums. Archives and Libraries: A Practical Guide, 2003, p.15:
Birkett, Dea, “Why museums should be family-friendly spaces,” The National, 29 March, 2016:
National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries, Version 1.5, September, 2016, p.63:

Transporting Art: the Melbourne Tram Museum (page 9)
The Melbourne Tram Museum has staged an exhibition uncovering the forty-year history of the iconic Art Trams and their place in Melbourne’s history. In this article Russell Jones, Content Manager, Melbourne Tram Museum, explains the Art Trams project and shares his research into their creation and use.
The Transporting Art exhibition is at the Melbourne Tram Museum in 8 Wallen Road, Hawthorn, until November, 2019. Images of all art trams produced from 1978 to 2018 can be seen at the exhibition and the full version of this article is available on the website:

2019 Victorian Museum Awards Nominations (page 10)
Nominations for the 2019 Victorian Museum Awards will open on 8 April and close on 17 May. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to acknowledge and promote the achievements of your museum.

Museum Accreditation Program Key Document Scheme (page 11)
2018 marked the twenty-fifth year that the Museum Accreditation Program has been managed by our organisation.  In this time, museums, galleries, historical societies and historical sites involved in the program have committed to ongoing improvement across three main areas of museum practice; collection care, community engagement and governance, to achieve best practice in line with the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries.

The B24 Liberator Memorial Australia Gains Accreditation (page 11)
The Museum Accreditation Program is delighted to recognise the hard work and commitment shown by the team at the B-24 Liberator Memorial Australia and are pleased to announce their recent Accreditation.
The B24 Liberator Memorial Australia is located at the corner of Farm Road & Princes Highway, Werribee, or online at: or view the collection on Victorian Collections.

2019 Roving Curator Recipients (page 12)
The Roving Curator Program supports the development of quality cultural exhibitions in Victoria. The Program provides small museums and galleries with exhibition development assistance from AMaGA Victoria’s Roving Curator, including several days of on-site advice and follow-up support. The Program’s Advisory Committee have announced the successful recipients in the 2019 round.


Creative Victoria Logo
AMaGA Victoria respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work, the Woi Wurrung people and honour their Ancestors, Elders and next generations of community. AMaGA Victoria acknowledges and pays respect to the Elders of all the Nations of Victoria, past, present and emerging.