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Learn how to preserve metal, glass, ceramic, and stone objects.
Different metals react to environmental conditions and storage materials in different ways, so it is always useful to know which kind of metal you are dealing with.
Salts and oils from hands can cause long-term damage to metals, so handle objects wearing nitrile or vinyl gloves, or with clean, bare hands.
Store metals in a well-ventilated environment with a stable temperature. Light, heat, and moisture can cause metal objects to corrode.
Keep metal objects together, and away from wooden objects or furniture, which can give off acidic vapours.
Ideally, objects should be kept off the floor and stored on metal rather than wooden shelving. Large objects should be placed on top of a metal pallet with a separation layer rather than directly on the floor. You can also use a plastic pallet, but avoid PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
More advice on metal preservation is offered by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Environment New South Wales offers advice on caring for historic farm machinery.
Glass and ceramic objects are brittle and require careful handling.
When moving or storing a glass or ceramic object, make sure it’s well padded and secured in a tray or container. Keep it in an area where it won’t be knocked over by passers-by.
More advice on glass and ceramic preservation is offered by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Like glass items, objects made of stone are very brittle and prone to breakage.
When moving or storing a stone object, make sure it’s well padded and secured in a tray or container. Keep it in an area where it won’t be knocked over by passers-by.