We have a collection of glass bottles containing pharmaceuticals from the mid1800s. They are housed in a doctor's medical chest, the kind that was used on passenger ships. The chest and bottles will be on permanent exhibit. Several bottles contain nontoxic substances, and are broken. Other bottles contain hazardous chemicals such as hydrocyanic acid, nitric acid and sulphuric acid. I would like to repair the broken bottles, keeping samples of the contents. I am considering the logistics of removing the toxic substances from the other bottles. The curatorial preference is to leave the bottles as they are and to not handle the contents. Has anyone had experience in dealing with this kind of collection? What are the prevailing attitudes toward decanting the substances and keeping samples in storage instead of on exhibit? Replacing corks?
There are also drawers in the chest that contain medical instruments and other objects. What is the accepted approach to dealing with potential biohazards present on medical equipment? Lisa Bengston Conservator Royal BC Museum Victoria, BC Canada ****** Unsubscribe by sending a message to consdistlist-le...@cool.conservation-us.org Searchable archives: http://cool.conservation-us.org/byform/mailing-lists/cdl/