Products Used for Display, Storage and Transportation

This workshop provides an overview of products commonly used for mounting, displaying and storing museum objects. Products covered include woods, papers, paints, plastics, textiles, etc. The use of silica gel and sorbents is discussed, and spot tests to identify some products are demonstrated. Options to avoid problems related to off-gassing or staining are provided. Teaching methods include PowerPoint presentations, examination of samples, group discussion and a tour of a storage and/or exhibition area. Participants are invited to bring samples for discussion. Note that products used for treatment of objects are not covered in this workshop.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • understand the interactions between products and objects
  • select products that are suitable for use in museums or archives
  • understand the properties of many types of products available on the market
  • verify information or test products for compatibility with objects


  • Principles of interaction between object and products
  • Wood products (including panels, cardboards and papers)
  • Coatings (including paints, varnishes and stains)
  • Textiles
  • Plastics (including sheets, boxes, panels, foams, gaskets, adhesives and sealants)
  • Silica gel and pollutant sorbents
  • Spot tests (ideally with a fume hood)
  • Optional: Internet search (if Internet access is available)
  • Optional: tour of a collection storage room and/or exhibit gallery to see examples of facilities

Target audience

Staff and volunteers involved in collection management, including storage and exhibition.


English and French

Enrollment limits

Minimum 10, maximum 25


Two days

Special requirements

The host institution must provide:

  • laptop, projector and electric extension cord (if needed for installation)
  • screen for PowerPoint presentation
  • whiteboard or flipchart, markers and a pointer (such as laser or wooden stick)
  • table for the projector (if necessary) and a table for product samples
  • some glassware, an alcohol burner or propane torch and common chemicals such as peroxide solution, alcohol and sodium hydroxide beads for spot tests

In addition, access to an exhibition or storage room for a tour, and access to the Internet in the lecture room would be appreciated.

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