Jewish Museum in Prague
curator: Petr Novak
At present, the collections of the Jewish Museum in Prague are housed in four depositories - a textile depository, a depository of paintings, drawings and graphic art, the "Terezín Collection" depository and a depository of Metal works (which also includes collections of glassware and furniture etc.).
The textile depository houses the bulk of the textile collection. A group of particularly large synagogue curtains is stored in special containers with drawers (2.75m x 1.78m long, 2m high). A specially designed mobile cart is used to facilitate the removal of curtains from the drawers. The collection of valances is stored in containers with drawers of various different sizes to accommodate particular pieces. Two-tier racks with a numbered grid system for locating mantles are used for the mantle collection. The collection of covers and canopies is stored on pull-out tables.
The depository of paintings, drawings and graphic art is soon to be moved to a newly reconstructed storage area. The current depository space is fully air-conditioned. Paintings are being kept in a temporary storage unit with shelves that will be replaced in the new depository by a system of extension frameworks consisting of wooden laths. The collection of graphic art and paintings is stored in standard cabinets.
The "Terezín Collection" depository houses an extensive collection of children's drawings from Terezín as well as adult artworks from Terezín. As this collection consists solely of drawings, a standard system of metal cabinets was selected for this depository. Individual drawings are protected with Melinex folio covers, which are used for the storage of archive materials, and are placed in groups of thirty in special cardboard boxes that have pH neutrality. The depository is fully air-conditioned. Stable climatic conditions are guaranteed by the use of specially designed capillary panels that regulate room temperature. These panels are built into the depository's walls. Relatively constant humidity is maintained by a mobile humidifier and dehumidifier with in-built measurement and regulation facilities.
The depository of Metal works houses, above all, a unique collection of synagogue silver and groups of pewter and brass objects, as well as pottery, glassware and furniture. It consists of basic storage units with dustproof cabinets that have been designed with a view to making as much use of the storage area as possible. Part of the depository space was recently set aside for the storage of a particularly valuable group of objects from the textile collection. In addition to a traditional storage system for textiles (cabinets with forced air circulation), there is a 5m x 2.5m suspension facility for the storage of banners (positioned flatways). The micro-climate throughout the depository is regulated by a central ventilation system; climatic conditions are monitored in four different areas of the depository.