Along with the hundreds of items the Palace has in its permanent exhibition, there are many others stored in the Museum Reserves. Here, we will reveal how we look after them and how researchers may gain access to these objects.
In the Ducal Palace of the Bragança, if a great part of the collection is set in the museum circuit, where it gains patrimonial and aesthetic value, it is also true that there are, out of the visitor bounds, a great number of objects that – for being expendable to the museum circuit narrative or because they are too fragile – are kept in the Reserves.
Although they belong to the museums’ backstage, the Reserves host precious treasures and are highly prominent and mandatory zones in Museums, as stated in the Decree no. 47/2004, of August 19, on the Portuguese Museums Framework Law:
1 – A museum must have organized Reserves in order to guarantee the collections’ management according to their specificities.
2 – The Reserves must be in customized and structurally adequate areas, with proper shelving and equipage in order to ensure the safety and preservation of the heritage.
1 – The museum facilities must accommodate areas for hosting visitors, display exhibits, reserves and members of staff.
The placement of objects in the Reserves is one of the main actions regarding preventive conservation for they ensure risk management thus contributing to the fulfillment of the mission and objectives of a museum.
Recognizing the requirement of intervening these areas, in 2016, it was began the Reserves Restructuring process, being a key objective the execution of the needed changes regarding the collections’ stowage. Thereby, upholding the promotion and implementation of these preventive conservation good practices and the proper setup conditions, safeguarding and accessibility.
The Ducal Palace currently has, grouped by typology, five reserve areas hosting 275 objects:
The assembly per typology directs to the control of environment conditions and to the selection of devices to be installed in each area, thus adjusting them to the needs of each object.
The Reserves in the Ducal Palace aren’t open to public but they are available for the scientific community willing to study them.
Nurturing today, to have them tomorrow… that is our motto!