Collection management

The RMCA has extremely varied collections that are of major scientific value. Most pieces were compiled before the independence of Congo, but the collections continue to grow thanks to scientific expeditions, purchases and donations.
In the sections of natural sciences, each department manages its own collection. For the human sciences, the Collection Management coordinating department was established in 2006.

Natural sciences

The various types of collections have different maintenance and conservation techniques. Fish, amphibians and reptiles are -for instance- saturated in alcohol and stored in a space that is properly protected against fire. The climate in the reserves is checked regularly for the ‘dry collections’ (stuffed animals). They are examined for insects so they, if necessary, can be destroyed with a disinfectant that does not damage the objects, so the collection remains intact.

Human sciences

The Collection Management department
The Collection Management department consists of a multidisciplinary team of specialists who ensure optimum physical management of the collections and accessibility of all relevant information. The department is also responsible for a high quality service regarding the collections, for the benefit of researchers and the general public.

Optimum physical management
The restorers and the logistic team are responsible for managing the collections in the material sense and ensuring an optimum conservation environment. Preventive conservation is central here: the collections are stored safely, where the risks of chemical and biological contamination are reduced to a minimum. Expert restorations are carried out where necessary, usually as part of the preparation of exhibitions and publications.

Providing information
The registrars and data managers ensure that each item can be localised perfectly and that all important information can be registered in a central collection databank. Thanks to various digitalisation projects, parts of this collection databank can now also be made accessible online. From now on, researchers and interested people can pay a virtual visit to the RMCA’s rich collections!

The department is also responsible for a high quality service, including organising loans for temporary exhibitions in Belgium and abroad. The department makes photographic reproductions of objects and digital scans of photos, for internal as well as external use.
Finally, the department plays a major role in facilitating research on the collections.
A visit to the storage rooms for research purposes is possible by appointment. Please fill out the Registration of visitors to the collections form.

Read more about the projects of the Collection Management section.

Contact Annick Swinnen for all collection management information.

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