Publications of interest to health and medicine collectors and museum custodians
A lengthy paper published several years ago in the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material Bulletin may be useful to custodians of medical collections. The author, Alison Wain, was a conservator involved with the move of the Science and Technology collections of the Museum of Victoria to their new home at Scienceworks.
Ms Wain discusses hazardous materials, where to look for hazards, and the basic safety procedures to be carried out when they are found. Specific reference is made to asbestos, matches, lead, arsenic, mercury, munitions, fire extinguishers, batteries, radioactive materials and general chemicals.
Members of HMM will no doubt be able to add to this list other hazardous materials that are often found in medical collections, such as drugs, sharps, and material possibly contaminated with human tissue or pathogens. The HMM Newsletter would be interested to hear from readers about how they have dealt with such items.
Wain, Alison. Hazardous materials in museum collections. AICCM Bulletin, Vol.18 No.1&2, 1992, pp. 3 - 28.