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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: It’s Cold Outside…

by Conservation

1/7/2016

conservation , behind the scenes , textiles , textile conservation

It’s cold outside… And inside too!  Extremely low temperatures are used to protect the museum’s textile collection from pests.   These textile objects are new acquisitions, but to be absolutely certain they don’t come with unwelcome stowaways, they are undergoing freezing treatment with help from our friends at the Preservation Lab based at the University of Cincinnati.  Here, conservator Ashleigh Schieszer lowers the prepared bundle into the freezer where it will undergo two cycles of sub-zero temperatures with a break in between, in case microscopic insect eggs have been waiting for “spring.”  The second cycle insures even such late hatchers won’t make it out of this cold snap alive.  After about 120 hours in arctic conditions, these textiles will be ready to safely join the rest of the textile collection.