• Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists (ARCS)
  • American Institute for Conservation (AIC) 
  • International Institute for Conservation (IIC) 
  • International Council of Museums Conservation Committee (ICOM-CC) Working Groups
  • Dr. Catherine Higgitt, Principal Scientist, Scientific Department, National Gallery London
  • Arne Johnson, Principal Structural Engineer, and Dr. Mohamed ElBatanouny, Senior Structural Engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Northbrook, Illinois
  • Dr. W. (Bill) Wei, Senior Conservation Scientist, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)
  • Mark Ryan, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
  • J.P. Brown, Regenstein Conservator, The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tomasz Galikowski, Associate Acoustic Engineer, and Peter Henson, Practice Consultant, Bickerdike Allen Partners, London

This questionnaire, developed by the International Research Group listed above, addresses current topics involving vibrations and collections. 

Protecting museum and cultural heritage collections from vibrations due to building construction has been previously addressed in various technical articles, several of which are listed in the References section below. 

In recent years, museums and cultural heritage organizations around the world are taking note of the potential impact that vibrations from music can have on their collections. In addition, new questions are being raised about the potential impact of vibrations that objects experience during transport. 

Scientists involved in the protection of collections are conducting research into these topics. To inform and focus this research, the purpose of this questionnaire is to collect objective information on the current real-life experiences and practices of museums and cultural heritage organizations on vibrations caused by 1) music and 2) transport. 

The information collected will be analyzed and distilled by the International Research Group and will then be disseminated to the museum community via a published open-access research report.

If you complete this survey: 
  • You will receive an advance summary of the results before they are released to the public. You will also receive a complimentary PDF report of the completed research when available.
  • Your institution will be listed in the list of participating institutions in the final research report (unless you request not to be listed).
  • Your answers will be kept private and strictly confidential to all audiences. It will not be possible to trace the information you provide back to you or your organization.

For the benefit of all institutions facing these vibration issues, the Research Group urges everyone with collection protection responsibilities to take just a few minutes to complete this questionnaire. Even if your practices in these areas are limited and you do not have much to share, your information is still relevant and valuable.  

For more information, please contact Arne Johnson of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. or Catherine Higgitt of the National Gallery London, points of contact for the International Research Group.

Thank you for participating!  

Note: You may view the questionnaire and save your responses in multiple sessions. When you have finished answering the questions, please click Save and Submit Questionnaire on the last page. 

References on Construction Vibrations:
  • C. Higgitt, L. Harrison, T. Galikowski, M. Pau and P. Henson, “Protecting the National Gallery’s Paintings Collection from the Impact of Vibration during Building Work,” Studies in Conservation, The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2020.
  • A. Johnson and M. ElBatanouny, “Vibrations and Museums Collections - Part 1: Vibratory Effects of Construction and Human Traffic (Vibration Mitigation for SUE Gallery at The Field Museum)," Papyrus, International Association of Museum Facilities Administrators, 2019.
  • W. Wei, S. Watts, T. Seddon and D. Crombie, “Protecting Museum Collections from Vibrations Due to Construction: Vibration Statistics, Limits, Flexibility and Cooperation,” Studies in Conservation, The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2018.
  • A. Johnson, F. Zuccari and M. Ryan, “Vibration Control During Museum Construction Projects,” webinar co-sponsored by AIC, ARCS and WJE, 2018. Available at: https://www.wje.com/knowledge/webinars/detail/vibration-control-during-museum-construction-projects.
  • A. Johnson and W. Hannen, “U.S. Practice in Vibration Control During Museum Construction Projects,” International Council of Museums Conservation Committee (ICOM-CC) Joint Interim Meeting, Paris, France, 2016.
  • W. Wei,  J. Wölk and L. Sauvage, “Baseline Limits for Allowable Vibrations for Objects,” ICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference, Melbourne, 2014.
  • A. Johnson, F. Zuccari and W. Hannen, “Vibration Control During Museum Construction Projects,” Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 52 No. 1, 2013.
  • W. Wei, N. Krumperman and N. Delissen, “Design of Vibration Damping System for Sculpture Pedestals: An Integral Object-Based Approach,” Preventive Conservation, ICOM-CC, Lisbon, 2011.