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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
in the new collection and conservation
facility we will have enough space to
house our entire collection or the the
collection that exists on the Lancaster
Road site to move into the building with
enough expansion and growth space for
future needs the ingenious box mately
156,000 objects of which 86,000 objects
will be moved over to the collections
and conservation facilities the existing
housing space on the Lancaster site is
proximately 17,000 square meters when we
move into the collection and
conservation facility in spring of 2019
we will be moving the collection into
approximately 36,000 square meters of
purpose-built storage space it'll be a
purpose-built facility we've hired a
company space saver and they will be
coming in and they with compact shelving
both mobile compact shelving racking
compact cantilever shelving this will
allow us to condense our collection into
a more compact I make more efficient use
of the building because the current
buildings occupied by the the collection
we're not purpose-built they were
warehouses so moving into the collection
and conservation center we will have
compact shelving that will address our
storage needs we will have three active
conservation labs within the facility
two for treatment of the objects and
when for the cataloging and acquisition
as part of best practice in collections
management the incorporation is also
under growing collection of
rationalization what this entails is we
are looking at the collection and trying
to call it to see what is the best
national representation of a national
with this involves is if we have a
series of for example four brownie
cameras we'll look at the four brownie
cameras assess which one has the best
provident which one is in the best
condition and we will probably die
accession one or two of that so we have
the best representation for examples for
international pleasure - tea collection
and Conservation Center is open and
we've housed the entire collection and
we will continue to provide tours as
part of the visitors experience
programming that was previously offered
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.
the biggest challenge of the building
was accommodating all of the artifacts
in the right species much of the rest of
the building after the first story is
mostly collections the first level above
grade is administrative and there's some
labs in there but after that it's mostly
storage it's a very strong building is
the floors are quite thick large columns
it's dealing with a lot of heavy loads
as you can imagine fire trucks and the
like farm machinery little generators
things like that there's there's one
area on level one that we reinforced
even more to have a greater slab
capacity to deal with some of the extra
large artifacts those challenges and
scale on site it's a very long sites a
very long building that we've been
designing it's very close to the
entrance of the museum so one of the
things we did to relieve that proximity
was to create the public space of the
plaza that allows the plaza which was
existing from museum design to expand
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 – Plans and Renderings
Images – Move Preparations and Construction