chapter  9
Preparing and conserving: Samuel J. M. M. Alberti
WithSAMUEL J. M. M. ALBERTI
Pages 5

VERY FEW OBJECTS WOULD SURVIVE long-term retention in the state in which they were found, killed or unearthed. Early in its life in the collection, an artefact or specimen was subject to a series of processes intended to render it stable. However futile, the ultimate aim was to enable it to survive indefi nitely.1 Not only did museum staff spend a signifi cant amount of time preparing specimens as they arrived at the Museum, there was also the continuous cleaning and conserving – ongoing and labour-intensive activities. Several million specimens attracting mould and insects pests, and generally responding to the entropic urge to deteriorate, kept the museum staff on their toes.