WIT Press

Quantification Of Mechanical Loads Induced By Traffic And Visitors On Museum Collections Placed In A Cultural Heritage Building


Free (open access)





Page Range

773 - 779




1,122 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Valach, B. Wolf, S. Urushadze, E. Paulova, P. Stefcova


Maintaining stable conditions of the internal environment is an important prerequisite for the protection of collections displayed and stored in museums. Among other controlled parameters, mechanical loads also have to be considered – many museums use them for its exhibitions of historical buildings that are protected as cultural heritage. Therefore, a conflict between the protection of a building and the protection of the collections can occur. In order to overcome this situation, a detailed study of the possible causes of the problems here can help find a sensitive trade-off suitable for both the building and for the collection. In the presented study, such an approach is demonstrated. First, the role of vibrations on the items of collection is assessed, based on an evaluation of the experimental data acquired during a “typical day in museum life”. The museum’s building is located on a street with heavy traffic, including trams. The analysis carried out suggests several important conclusions: a) Vibrations of display cases induced by passing trams are lower than the vibrations induced by the steps of the museum’s visitors; b) The difference in dynamical response of the display cases to the same load (passing tram) is also due to differences in the stiffness of the floor; c) A change of the display case’s location and adding a thick layer of fabric below the case could significantly attenuate the vibrations; d) Finally, it can be said that, sometimes, introducing engineering approaches into a prevailingly humanities environment yields useful results that can stop otherwise endless discussions.


museum collections, vibrations, cultural heritage, experimental measurement, damage monitoring