Museums are the keepers of human cultural and anthropological heritage and attract many visitors every day. Most of them do not know that what they see is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, for most museums, 90% of the collection is kept in storage facilities. Those are not always seen by the general public and remain neglected spaces in many museums, playing only a marginal role in museum activities. However, they are the cores of the museums and are more than mere repositories; they are locations where many activities take place such as exhibitions, education and research programs. Thus, the unseen collection must be well preserved, good records maintained, and both the collection and records must be kept accessible. Unfortunately, all these objectives are not always met. It is believed that in about 60% of institutions worldwide, the storage areas are so devastated that using the collection for any museum activity has been rendered entirely impossible. Through some significant examples of western art museums, specifically Italian ones, this book will describe the debate on storage facilities from its beginnings. It will address the follow questions: When was it first possible to see organised storage for the preservation of collections in Italian art museums? How have storage spaces evolved, architectonically, inside and outside the museum? Are there different typologies of storage facilities, and when did they come into use? This book is for anyone interested in answers to these questions. This is not a training manual, but it provides an insight into the kind of activities that happen every day behind the scenes at a museum. For those who have never visited one, this book will provide inspiration to discover them and enjoy the visit with a different perspective. This book is a first step into developing an understanding of museum storage facilities, especially those in Italy.ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
is currently employed at the University of Technology in Delft where she continues her research on museum deposits through the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie Horizon 2020 COFUND Programme, "LEaDing Fellows". She holds the European PhD title of Doctor of Preservation of Architectural Heritage (2019) from the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Politecnico di Milano. She has worked as an expert in applied arts conservation and as a conservator in several Italian and overseas museums.