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Collection room advice

Article about: Hi everyone. First off some background to my request for advice. I live in a sunny (mostly) New south Wales, Australia (where it can truely bake in the summer) and have a small collection of

  1. #1

    Default Collection room advice

    Hi everyone.

    First off some background to my request for advice.

    I live in a sunny (mostly) New south Wales, Australia (where it can truely bake in the summer) and have a small collection of WW1 era British uniforms & accessories, belts, period newspapers, etc that i am endeavouring to create a suitable storage (& display) environment for. I understand that its not the best to keep such items in a garage (even if its brick with a insulated tin roof), but i have little option as there is no suitable space indoors.
    Off the back of our ajoined garage is a brick 2x2m square cubicle where i have lined the roof with a dropped ceiling of 7mm plywood & insulated with a thick layer of earthwool insulation material. On 2 sides it is solid double red brick walls, on the 3rd a glass ranch slider type sliding door that faces outside and the 4th wall a doorway that leads from the garage to the cubicle in which i will be fitting a solid core door so as to seal off the space. During the summer the brick walls in the cubicle are cool to the touch and during the winter they are perfectly dry but the problem part is the glass door which radiates a strong heat when it gets any sun (newspapers will yellow within days if left in the cubicle because of this whereas they will be fresh for months if left in the rest of the garage). The problem I have is that my wife does not understand my reasoning to do the same as i have done to the glass sliding door as i have done to the roof (plywood & insulation) and therefore trying to create a (more) temperature controlled environment.
    She is insistent that i just need to put curtains over the glass door so i can have some natural light and open the door for some fresh air etc. and that this would be more than enough to protect the uniforms & anything else from the 30+ degree thermal heat radiating through the glass from the summer sun (and not cooking anything that's in there).

    Now to the request for advice.

    Can anyone help with any experiences with similar environments, any web sites, discussion forums or similar where this sort of thing may have been discussed so i can show her that's its not just me who thinks that the correct environment is important and that curtains would not provide adequate protection against thermal heat etc and that the 100+ year old items would otherwise be destroyed in a very short time. If i can show her that's its not a good idea then i will be able to move forward and finish the room.

    Any help appreciated

    - Damian

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  3. #2
    MAP is offline


    Great questions. There are quite a number of members here from your neck of the woods. Hopefully they see this and can help out from a "local" perspective (I live in the north east coast US where it is cold and very hot).

    But, these significant items of our historical past deserve the proper treatment and to be stored correctly. We see it all the time here. Helmets, daggers, uniforms, etc. found in a house and brought out in the light of day for the first time in 70+ years. Some are in mint condition and others are rusted, dried out, moth eaten. While they started out the same, the storage conditions clearly had an impact.

    In general, the items should be stored out of direct sunlight and in a stable (controlled) environment from a humidity and temperature perspective. Large swings either way will kill an item. After that it depends on the composition of the item (cloth, metal, wood, fabric) and type of item (ie. Uniforms, Visors, helmets, etc.)

    Others should be around, and you can show her the wisdom of some of the most advance collectors out there.


    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  4. #3


    I think Michael hit a key point, as a consistent temperature
    and humidity level is a must. I try to keep 'my room' at
    about 60%, but it does and will fluctuate over the
    winter and summer months.........


  5. #4


    There is a plethora of professional information here that will answer all your questions

    great 'watch for' list here

  6. #5



    Great replies.

    The links for the Canadian Conservation Institute have some brilliant notes to reference.

    Much regards for the input

    - Damian

  7. #6


    That was some great info asterperious!
    Thanks for that link
    Semper Fi

  8. #7


    Quote by asterperious View Post
    There is a plethora of professional information here that will answer all your questions

    great 'watch for' list here
    Us Canadians know how to preserve stuff. That is why our diet has the highest salt content in the world! Historical remnants of preserving meat over harsh winter and summer months.
    Last edited by coldcashandcolderhearts; 05-21-2015 at 02:45 PM.

  9. #8


    hi damian ,can i just say what an interesting thread and some very valid questions asked by your good self to which ive learned a lot ,just to say a big thanks to the other members ,im of little help myself as i live in north wales ,united kingdom and all it does here is raincheers james

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