Hazardous materials–written reference list

Some of these references are difficult to obtain, but most are available through the Research Library of the Powerhouse Museum.

The papers by Bassett & Wild (2001) and Wain (1992) contain detailed discussion and advice on a wide range of hazardous materials that have been found in Museum of Victoria collections. Miller (1991) and Suits (1998) are also useful papers that contain commonsense measures for the management of commonly found hazards in historical museums. The compiler of this Fact Sheet is particularly indebted to these authors.

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Technical Leaflet: The Handling and Exhibition of Potentially Hazardous Artifacts in Museum Collections 2009

Bassett, Sue, and Wild, Elizabeth, ‘Hazards in museum collections: a case study (Museum of Victoria)’ (in press, AICCM Bulletin [Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural
Material], December 2001).

Canadian Conservation Institute, Mercury in Museum Collections, 2002

Canadian Conservation Institute, Lead in Museum Collections and Heritage Buildings, 2010

Carse, Glennys, ‘Picric acid: the Gawler story’ and Dougherty, Gavin, ‘An official response’, Community History (History Trust of South Australia), Vol.6, No.3, pp.26-27.

Charlebois, Patricia, ‘Picric acid and picrate salts’, Canadian Transport Emergency Centre,

(This is just one of numerous articles on the web dealing with picric acid)

Edmonson, James M., ‘Sterilising surgical instruments: a curator’s historical perspective’, Caduceus, Autumn 1991, pp.32-38.

Frame, Paul W., ‘Radioactive and radium sources in medical museums’, Caduceus, Autumn 1991, pp.47-54.

Hughes, Janet, ‘What lurks in the bottle?’, inSITE [Museums Australian (Victoria) Newsletter], April-May 2000, p.6.

Kondratas, Ramunas, ‘The preservation and disposition of hazardous substances and controlled drugs in museum collections’, Caduceus, Autumn 1991, pp.55-62.

Miller, Patricia L., ‘Arsenic, old lace, and stuffed owls may be dangerous to your health: environmental concerns for museum personnel’, Caduceus, Autumn 1991, pp.63-70.

Suits, Linda Norbut, ‘Hazardous materials in your collection’, Conserve O Gram [National Park Service, Department of the Interior, USA], No.2/10, August 1998. Reilly, Eleanor, ‘Decontamination and sterilisation of medical instruments in museums’, Caduceus, Autumn 1991, pp.39-45.

SHARE Museums East, Hazardous Materials in Museum Collections, 2011 www.sharemuseumseast.org.uk

Wain, Alison, ‘Hazardous materials in museum collections’, AICCM Bulletin [Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material], Vol.18, No.1&2, 1992, pp.3-28.