Conservation of MoDA’s Collections

Photo of hands holding tweezers doing conservation work

MoDA’s collections mostly consist of paper and textile items that were used in working design studios, manufacturers’ showrooms, and homes, before they were donated to us to preserve as historic artefacts.

Very few of the objects in MoDA’s collections came to us in pristine condition.  Most already showed signs of wear and tear such as fading or discolouration before they came into the museum.

We make every effort to hold back any further deterioration of the collections through preventive conservation methods.

MoDA’s Preventive Conservation Officer Emma Shaw leads projects that open up the museum’s collections for active use by visitors, students and researchers.  We aim to ensure that people can handle fragile items, while limiting the risk of physical damage to those items.

Over the years, we have also carried out interventive conservation projects on specific parts of the collection.  These are designed to make particular objects easily and safely accessible for research and inspiration. We frequently collaborate with specialist conservation practitioners, conservation students or recently qualified conservators.

Making objects easier to handle has often been the beginning of larger projects and further research.