Reassessment of anoxic storage of ethnographic rubber

Jo Dyer, Clare Ward, Nicole Rode, Marei Hacke, Yvonne Shashoua

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This paper revisits the 1991–1995 British Museum field trial on anoxic storage, where 23 registered ethnographic rubber objects were enclosed in oxygen barrier film Cryovac BDF200 with sachets of the oxygen absorbent Ageless Z. A unique opportunity for study was presented since most of the enclosures have remained sealed since 1995. Techniques such as solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and variable pressure scanning electron microscopy (VP-SEM) together with visual assessments were employed in assessing both condition of the objects and effectiveness of anoxic storage methodology. Anoxic storage is of increasing interest to those caring for modern/ethnographic collections. This study has helped to establish that, despite concerns for the long-term effectiveness and impact of prolonged storage under oxygen-depleted conditions, it is an effective and convenient means of slowing the deterioration of rubber artefacts in museum collections.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventICOM-CC 16th: Triennial Conference in Lisbon “Cultural Heritage / Cultural Identity: The Role of Conservation” - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 19 Sept 201123 Sept 2011
Conference number: 16


ConferenceICOM-CC 16th

Bibliographical note

ISBN: 978-989-97522-2-1
ed: Janet Bridgland
publisher: James & James, London


  • rubber oxidation degradation preventive conserevation Ageless

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