Storage facilities

The collections of the Musée de la civilisation are kept in two different storage facilities. The Centre national de conservation et d'études des collections (CNCEC), is the main location for the conservation of various objects of the collections. The Musée de l'Amérique francophone brings together historical archives and a rare books library.

A real strongbox protecting the collections, the Centre national de conservation et d'études des collections offers a secure environment with appropriate conservation conditions for each type of object. Each storage room is specifically designed to meet with recognized museology conservation standards.

Le CNCEC
Centre national de conservation et d'études des collections
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jacques Lessard, a035_relv03_0007

To house the collections, the Centre is equipped with mobile storage systems on rails, which maximizes space and favour the organisation of the artifacts in the storage rooms. Each object is classified and identified for an easy tracking. Every detail of his design has been thought: from the paint that covers the walls to the type of floors and from the ventilation system to the production of specific supports for each type of object. The architectural work of Pierre Thibault captivates by its sobriety and functionality.


Optimal storage room

The impressive 8,546 square meter building has eleven storage rooms, nine of which are housing the collections of the Musée de la civilisation. The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec occupies the other two rooms to store imposing dimensions art works.

A strict humidity and temperature control for each storage room, according to the materials they contain, ensure optimal conservation conditions.



Cold room

Temperature: 10°C
Humidity: 50% (summer), 40% (winter)
Many objects are made of materials that are more susceptible to chemical deterioration or may pose an infestation risk. Objects made of organic materials like: rawhide, leather, sinew or porcupine quills are stored with objects made of rubber or plastic. Over one third of the Aboriginal collections are kept in this room.

Cold room
Wax heads, cold room
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0012



Storage room for large objects made of composite materials

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 55% (summer), 40% (winter)
Objects are often made of a variety of materials. This is the case for several pieces of furniture, printing equipment, machinery, looms, pianos, household appliances and transportation related items.

Storage room for large objects made of composite materials
Room for large objects made of composite materials
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0021



Storage room for small objects made of composite materials

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 55% (summer), 40% (winter)
The largest storage room is ironically where the smallest objects are kept. It holds Scientific and musical instruments, Inuit sculptures, material associated with trades and professions, crockery, communication devices, toys, religious statues, Christmas ornaments, folk art and firearms are all stored together in that room.

Storage room for small objects made of composite materials
Room for small objects made of composite materials
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0064



Storage room for wooden furniture

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 55% (summer), 40% (winter)
The furniture stored in this room covers all periods of Québec's history, particularly from the 17th century to the 1960s, with examples from New France to those of the École du meuble (furniture-making school).

Storage room for large wooden objects
Room for the wooden furniture
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0018



Storage room for small wooden objects

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 55% (summer), 40% (winter)
Other than small pieces of furniture, this storage room contains traditional toys and a collection of commercial signs. The latter provides a glimpse into social history, lifestyles and trades.

Storage room for small wooden objects
Room for the small wooden objects
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0071



Storage room for paintings

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 55% (summer), 40% (winter)
Among the easels are remarkable paintings from Quebec Seminary. Many of them had a profound influence on artists Joseph Légaré, Antoine Plamondon, Théophile Hamel and Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté. Along with these works from past centuries there is folk art, paintings by Sister Marie-de-l'Eucharistie of the Sisters of Charity of Québec as well as contemporary works of art donated by Janine Carreau.

Storage room for paintings
Room for paintings
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier, a035_relv14_0026



Storage room for textiles

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 55% (summer), 40% (winter)
Textiles are always extremely sensitive to humidity and light. Heavy church vestments are kept in specialized storage units. Lighter garments are hung on padded coat hangers and put in unbleached cotton garment bags; others are kept in drawers. Quilts and rugs are carefully preserved on large rolls.

Storage room for textiles
Room for textiles
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0034



Storage room for taxidermic specimens

Temperature: 18°C
Humidity: 50% (summer), 40% (winter)
Mainly featuring specimens from the 19th century, this collection is extremely fragile. This storage room is cooler and has an independent ventilation system.



Storage room for metals

Temperature: 21°C
Humidity: 38% (summer and winter)
To prevent corrosion, jewelry, silverware, ironwork and gold objects are kept in a low-humidity storage room with an independent ventilation system. Tableware made of silver is put in special bags, and religious silverware is locked in cabinets. Some Inuit sculptures are also kept in this storage room since they contain pyrite, which could cause the stone to crack if humidity level is too high.

Storage room for metals
Room for metals
Musée de la civilisation, photo: Jessy Bernier - Perspective Photo, a035_relv14_0041

 

Along with exhibitions and administrative spaces, the Musée de l'Amérique francophone is housing a Reading Room open for researchers, eight storage rooms for the historical archives and one for the rare books library. Of considerable value, part of the historical archives was recognized by the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Such responsibility requires an exemplary treatment for these collections. To this end, a large "Archives Project" is in progress with the support of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications.