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Subject: Lab design

Lab design

From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Thursday, September 2, 1999
The classic text is R.M. Organ's Design for Scientific Conservation
of Antiquities published by the Smithsonian Institution
Press/Butterworths, in 1968.

There are no formulae, as such, for determining the size of a
conservation lab.  This should be determined by the nature of the
artifacts to be treated, and the number of people who will be
working in the lab.  In addition, consideration must be given to the
quantity of supplies and equipment to be housed in the lab, with
input from the conservator who will be responsible for managing the

It should also be understood that some artifacts take a long time to
treat, and space must be allowed for such artifacts.

Based upon my personal experience, 3,000 sq. ft. during the time
when I employed as many as 5 staff was none too much space.  The
east and south walls of the space brought natural light into the
work space, and that was good, because natural light greatly aides
both wet and dry work.

Some artifacts are large and some are small; doors should be large
enough to accommodate any artifact likely to be brought to a museum's

The environment is another consideration.  The lab's environment
should be as closely controlled as the museum's storage and exhibit

There was not enough data in the original question to permit much
more speculation about conservation lab design.

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Laboratory
Portland, OR
503-735-3942  (voice/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:19
                 Distributed: Friday, September 3, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-19-002
Received on Thursday, 2 September, 1999

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