Preserving our collection


When you are entrusted with historic artefacts by generous donors, you have a responsibility to ensure that the very best of care is taken with preserving the items so they can be shared for many years to come.

The Otway Districts Historical Society is based in the township of Beech Forest, "on the ridge" as it is known.  This biodiverse area is a temperate rainforest region and along with its natural beauty & high rainfall, the environment presents some challenges.

There are many aspects of preservation of historic artefacts including handling, display and storage.  When thinking about how to best preserve our collection from the elements, at the forefront of our minds was the humidity & potential mould and mildew that can be very damaging to the collection and to the health of our volunteers and visitors.  Best practice for controlling the space is having the temperature set at 20 degrees celsius and the humidity levels of 45-55%.

The temperature we were controlling but the humidity was another issue.  The problem was solved when we purchased 2 dehumidifier units following the successful awarding of a grant by the Colac Otway Shire.  The dehumidifiers have been installed in a special exhibition space and also in the reading/archive room and are working very effectively. We are very grateful to the Colac Otway Shire for making this possible and contributing to the preservation of the ODHS collection.


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National Library of Australia, 2023, Preservation, accessed 3/11/2023

Texas Historical Commission, A Quick Guide to the Preservation of Artifacts,, accessed 3/11/2023