The Conservation Unit looks after the Powerhouse collection in storage and while it is on display. Our role is to protect against dust, moisture, high light levels, as well as insect and rodent pests. In addition we work with our colleagues to control the temperature and relative humidity in collection stores and exhibition galleries to help prevent deterioration of the objects

The Conservation team documents the condition of collection objects by recording information in our collection database and taking detailed photographs. We also undertake remedial conservation work as necessary to stabilise and conserve the collection. As part of this process we record information about how objects were made, used and cared for in the past as this helps inform the care required in the future.

We also contribute to many regional and community programs including: internships, work experience, staff exchanges, loans, traveling exhibitions, site visits, steam rallies and community-based workshops.

If you are looking for information about conservation of heritage objects there is information below:


Conservation information sheets

Products and suppliers
How to store a fragile garment in an acid-free box
How to create rolled storage for flat textiles
How to create a padded coathanger
How to brush vacuum an object
A simple guide to labelling museum objects
Simple conservation photography and documentation
Taking good photographs with available light and space, using a small camera
Scanning photographs
Conservation help notes
A simple mount for photos and documents
How to make a book support for display
How to make photo corners for display
Looking after silver
Making mannequins – Part 1
Making mannequins – Part 2


Case Studies

To market, to market
This case study compares the conservation and restoration treatments of three similar historic tabletop wagons.

The McLaren steam traction engine No 815
This case study looks at the conservation and preservation methods of an internationally significant traction engine. It is an outstanding example of this type of engine and is used as an important reference point in steam engineering history.