Collections Conservation Centre

Ingenium's new Collections Conservation Centre

What is the Collections Conservation Centre?

The Collections Conservation Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility designed to protect and showcase Canada’s national science and technology collection, entrusted to Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.

Currently under construction right next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, the Collections Conservation Centre will offer public access to Ingenium’s Library and Archives. In addition, public guided tours will make it one of the most accessible collection storage facilities in Canada.

The collection includes more than 85,000 artifacts of different shapes and sizes, including locomotives, tractors, porcelain plates, seeds, radioactive satellite debris, and household objects. Ingenium’s three museums — the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum — can only display around 12 percent of the collection at any given time.

Quick facts

  • In 2016, Ingenium received $150-million in federal funding to build the Collections Conservation Centre. Construction started in 2017.
  • The facility will be nearly 36,000 m², four floors but about 10 stories high, housing over 85,000 artifacts and nearly two million 2D artifacts.
  • Moving the entire collection will take approximately two years to complete.

This complex project will involve moving:

  • The 1201 Locomotive — the largest object in the collection. It weighs 185 t (410,000 lbs), and is 23 m long by 3 m wide. It was used at Expo 1986, and was built in the Angus shops of Montreal around 1944.
  • 12 locomotives and 10 rail cars
  • 177 cars — the oldest is the 1867 Seth Taylor Steam, built in Québec
  • 190 bicycles
  • 6,000 agricultural artifacts
  • 4,000 domestic technology artifacts
  • 40,000 pieces of trade literature, 29,500 monographs, 3,000 rare books, and 2,000 serials

Key Features

Scheduled for completion later this year, this four-storey building – the size of a football field – will consolidate over 85,000 science and technology artifacts which are currently spread across three warehouses. The Collections Conservation Centre will also be home to nearly 800 m (2600 linear feet) of archives, a Research Institute, conservation laboratories, workshops, and staff workspaces. 

Library and Archives

A modern library and archives — open to the public in Ottawa and accessible online to users worldwide — will offer a rich array of library books, rare books, trade literature, and other resources, ideal for users researching the history of science, technology, agriculture, and food in Canada.

Research Institute

The Research Institute will be a place for Ingenium staff, visiting scholars, students, and guest curators to build communities of knowledge around the national collection, and to inject new ideas and experiences into our public offerings.

A special collection and artifact examination room will be an intimate, hands-on space to engage with objects, to learn from the complexities of genuine material culture experiences, and to encourage multi-person encounters with objects. The Research Institute will include a collaborative collection space as an accessible service for researchers and teachers, along with a robust fellowship program.

Digital Innovation Lab

The Digital Innovation Lab will take Ingenium’s collection beyond the physical walls of the Collections Conservation Centre. This lab will enable users to develop new approaches in digitization, 3D modelling, visualizations, games and game engines, and augmented, virtual, and mixed-reality applications.

Through cutting-edge digital initiatives, and in collaboration with Digital Humanities scholars throughout Canada, Ingenium is positioned to be a national and international leader in digital museum exploration and practises.



Videos

Gordon Perrault, Director of Conservation and Collection Services, discusses the complexities of moving an entire collection of artifacts, from the very small to the very large.

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in the new collection and conservation

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facility we will have enough space to

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house our entire collection or the the

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collection that exists on the Lancaster

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Road site to move into the building with

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enough expansion and growth space for

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future needs the ingenious box mately

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156,000 objects of which 86,000 objects

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will be moved over to the collections

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and conservation facilities the existing

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housing space on the Lancaster site is

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proximately 17,000 square meters when we

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move into the collection and

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conservation facility in spring of 2019

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we will be moving the collection into

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approximately 36,000 square meters of

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purpose-built storage space it'll be a

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purpose-built facility we've hired a

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company space saver and they will be

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coming in and they with compact shelving

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both mobile compact shelving racking

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compact cantilever shelving this will

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allow us to condense our collection into

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a more compact I make more efficient use

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of the building because the current

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buildings occupied by the the collection

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spaces

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we're not purpose-built they were

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warehouses so moving into the collection

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and conservation center we will have

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compact shelving that will address our

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storage needs we will have three active

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conservation labs within the facility

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two for treatment of the objects and

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when for the cataloging and acquisition

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as part of best practice in collections

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management the incorporation is also

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under growing collection of

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rationalization what this entails is we

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are looking at the collection and trying

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to call it to see what is the best

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national representation of a national

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with this involves is if we have a

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series of for example four brownie

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cameras we'll look at the four brownie

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cameras assess which one has the best

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provident which one is in the best

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condition and we will probably die

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accession one or two of that so we have

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the best representation for examples for

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international pleasure - tea collection

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and Conservation Center is open and

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we've housed the entire collection and

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we will continue to provide tours as

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part of the visitors experience

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programming that was previously offered

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prior to the museum closing in 2014

Architects Duncan Higgins and Maurizio Martignago speak to the challenges of designing and constructing a building large enough to house hundreds of thousands of artifacts.

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the biggest challenge of the building

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was accommodating all of the artifacts

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in the right species much of the rest of

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the building after the first story is

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mostly collections the first level above

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grade is administrative and there's some

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labs in there but after that it's mostly

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storage it's a very strong building is

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very robust

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the floors are quite thick large columns

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it's dealing with a lot of heavy loads

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as you can imagine fire trucks and the

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like farm machinery little generators

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things like that there's there's one

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area on level one that we reinforced

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even more to have a greater slab

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capacity to deal with some of the extra

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large artifacts those challenges and

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scale on site it's a very long sites a

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very long building that we've been

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designing it's very close to the

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entrance of the museum so one of the

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things we did to relieve that proximity

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was to create the public space of the

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plaza that allows the plaza which was

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existing from museum design to expand

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and provide a really great public space

Curious to see what we are building next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum? Check out this video to explore the Collections Conservation Centre. 

Dr. Gary Polonsky, Chair of Ingenium's Board of Trustees talks about the future, innovative Collections Conservation Centre.

Dr. Gary Polonsky, Chair of Ingenium's Board of Trustees, talks about the construction and design of the Collections and Conservation Centre.


Images

Images – Plans and Renderings

Images – Move Preparations and Construction