Pest Control for Artefacts

Pest proofing artefacts is essential for preservationRentokil are a Corporate Sponsor of the Science Museum- you may remember our recent cockroach tour blog which outlined what it was like to be a cockroach!  The cockroach tour is still being run and is well worth a visit.

The Science Museum occasionally run events for their sponsors, and being a bunch of geeks here at the labs, when the chance came to take a tour around their store and archive at Blythe house it only took about 20 second to rustle up willing volunteers. Museum pest control is a very interesting field and Blythe house has a conservation department and quarantine section that I would like to nose around from a professional point of view at some stage. Rentokil have a unique Controlled Atmosphere Treatment which uses carbon dioxide to create anoxic conditions within a bubble to kill any insects within. It is particularly useful for the conservation of artefacts.

This time though we got the opportunity to tour the communication and astronomy/microscopy stores and it was fascinating. If you conjure up an image of the massive secret artefact stores from the X Files and Indiana Jones you can imagine the experience that awaited us!

From Hook’s Microscope (yes- that actual microscope, in the flesh), to a Snoopy Telephone and the mysterious Audio Spectacles by way of  Herschel’s telescope, the guides gave us an amazingly informative evening. We also cleaned up in the ‘guess the weird object’ competition (although according to another guest we cheated by bringing along actual scientists). It was great to have a behind-the-scene view and hope I get a chance to return soon.

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