Skip to main content

Piece of artwork on shelves in Oriental Museum

Lots of us will have shelves full of things we love to keep, and it’s the same in museums, except our curators can’t just put the collections in a cardboard box in the garage like we might do with our old school books!

World-class collections need state-of-the-art storage and our Oriental Museum recently overhauled its secure storage to protect its outstanding Asian and North African collections and enable more people to study them.

Not your average set of shelves

With over £100,000 of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council the Oriental Museum has invested in more than just your average set of shelves.

The new storage includes specialist sections for human remains, lacquer and ivory, textiles, artworks, metal works and other items that require particular conditions.

Our team painstakingly moved more than 35,000 objects including everything from ancient bronzes and delicate ceramics, to beautiful silk robes and textiles.

Much like having a sort-out at home, the team used this as a chance to do a full audit of the collections and undertake some conservation projects.

The new, more space-efficient storage means there is now more room for the museum to expand its collections, in line with new areas of teaching and research interests across the University.

New study spaces

As part of this project the Oriental Museum has also been able to refurbish and expand research study spaces.

The new study spaces are large enough for whole research groups to work together, as well as for bigger objects such as kimonos to be laid out more easily.

The Museum has also taken the opportunity to create a digital classroom, which they are using for live-streamed sessions with primary and secondary schools.

Safe, secure and accessible

The new storage transforms how our curators can care for our Asian and North African collections, enabling them to keep objects in the correct conditions whilst making access them simpler, opening up opportunities to learn even more from these treasured objects.

Find out more: