Memory & Action
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Memory & Action

Museum conservators prepare a state-of-the-art conservation lab in the new Shapell Center.

Moving the Collection of Record on the Holocaust into Its Permanent Home

Barcoding was a transformational change for the Museum. The technology allows staff to verify
the real-time location of every item in the collection—currently there
are more than 52,000 specific locations institution-wide.
Specialists in inventory and location tracking organize archival materials for transportation to the Shapell Center. A total of 15,000 archival collections—from restitution case files to personal papers—are being moved into document vaults.
Staff completes the inventory of a document vault at the Shapell Center. The move will be completed in early May 2017.
Art handlers will pack and unpack an estimated 44,000 items and collections, ranging from a small Star of David that was worn by a child to a bulky Hollerith machine (above) used in the 1930s German censuses.

SNAPSHOT: Preparing to Move One Family’s Story

The precision with which the collection was prepared for the move is called “preventive conservation.” Each object is assessed by conservators to develop methods to mitigate risk during the move. It is then photographed for security, preservation, and accessibility.
Art handlers build new housing for Oscar’s and Doba’s boxes that is designed to reduce handling and stabilize the objects during the move. The
boxes will be permanently stored in this custom housing at the new center.
Packed containers are moved from staging areas in the existing facility to staging areas in the new David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center. From there, objects will be placed in their permanent homes in the vaults.

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