Most people have a collection that is precious to them. With a national collection of more than 2 million audiovisual materials, we understand that better than anyone!
Fire, flood, earthquake and war all come to mind when considering disasters that might threaten cultural collections; however, often there are quieter threats to consider that can be equally damaging if untreated.
Galleries, libraries, archives and museums are smorgasbords for many pests and moulds.
Silverfish at the NFSA would, if given the chance, eat paper scripts; carpet beetle larvae would devour the leather found in costumes and on old equipment; wood borers would attack our timber furniture; and mould would stain and damage everything from paper and video to motion picture film.
Mould and pest damage are particularly insidious because they can occur without any outward signs, until discovered incidentally. That is why we have procedures in place to prevent this from happening in the first place.