The Polytechnic Museum in Moscow, whose holdings include more than 300,000 exhibits and well over a million books, published a “Guide to Moving Museum Collections” at the end of last year. The book is based on the Polytechnic Museum’s own experiences, as it had to outsource its entire collection in 2013 as part of a building modernization project, and is intended to serve as a guide for other museums, which face similar challenges.
On the subject of logistics, the guide reads:
With such a large and diverse range of museum holdings as in the Polytechnic Museum, choosing a suitable logistics company is no easy task. After preliminary negotiations, none of the transport specialists who specialize in museum transport and operate on the Russian market were even able to make a commercial offer. In order to come out of this dead end, it was necessary to specify the selection criteria and to set priorities for the requirements. It was therefore decided that the experience in transporting bulky open-plan objects should be the main criterion for the selection, since the transport of these objects had caused most of the questions. In this way, a well-known trade fair forwarder was selected, the company BTG Exhibition Logistics, which also has its own vehicle fleet and capacities for packaging production.
The museum stocks were then relocated during the warm season, from August to October 2013, in order to protect the museum pieces from additional negative environmental influences. 11 jumbo trucks were loaded every day (the requirements for these vehicles were laid down in the Ordinance of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR No. 290 of July 17, 1985). In the new museum depot, all pallets were immediately put into their places according to a storage plan that had been prepared in advance.
Looking back at this remarkable project, we would like to thank the Polytechnic Museum once again for their trust and cooperation. We are already looking forward to future projects!