The storage facilities in the new building of the Jewish Museum of Greece have been designed withgreat care, taking into account all factors that may affect the stored items, since they will be housing the greater part of its collection for quite a long time. The 150-square-metre basement has been thoroughly insulated and fitted with an independent air-conditioning system. It is divided into three storage rooms of different sizes, an antechamber, and a fourth, processing room. The different rooms serve to divide the collection in categories, according to the material the objects are made of. This also helped in designing adjacent rooms of related functions. As is the case with the rest of the Museum, the storage areas are easily accessible by lift.
The stored artefacts have been classified thus:
- Room I: objects made mostly of non-organic materials (metals, ceramics, glass, stone).
- Room II: artefacts made mostly of organic materials, except textiles (books, documents, paintings, photographs, wooden objects etc.).
- Room III: Textiles, furs, clothes and accessories.
These rooms have been equipped with metal furniture of German manufacture, specially designed for storage of sensitive materials. They include drawers of fixed or adjustable height, closets with glass doors and pull-out wardrobes. The furniture is strong and sturdy and large enough to support the largest items in all their length. Closets and drawers open without danger to their contents, while all items are easily and safely accessible. All units can be locked, while allowing the circulation of air within.
The artifacts inside the storage units are classified in several ways. Inorganic or wooden objects and documents are arranged by subject; books are kept in chronological order; photographs are classified according to size. For further protection, special acid-free packing materials are used, such as cartons and boxes of alkaline paper, polyethylene foam, photo-safe envelopes and papers, polyester films, strips of polyamide or paper, and cotton fabrics.
The three storage rooms maintain different but stable environmental conditions around the clock, according to what is desirable for their contents. Besides the air-conditioning devices, autonomous dehydrators are used to further control humidity. Special thermo-hydrographic monitors keep track of temperature and humidity in the rooms.
All objects have their own unique number, clearly visible on their packing on labels lined with a special metal alloy. At the entrance of every room there is a list detailing the topographic arrangement of the room?s contents, making it easier to locate a specific item.
The fourth room is used for the processing of artefacts about to be stored. Records are kept of the whereabouts of the collection, when they are moved for whatever reason. A work diary is also kept, as well as records of conservation procedures and climatic control checks. The antechamber houses the Museum?s Contemporary Art Collection.
Access to the storage facilities is limited, for security reasons. Fire prevention involves smoke detectors and fire-extinguishing equipment, as in the rest of the building, while all the doors of this level are fireproof. Despite the modern flood alarm, all the furniture is designed to keep the contents well above floor level and at a distance from the walls.
Inspections of the storage facilities take place periodically and written reports of the findings are submitted to the Board of Directors.