Katia Johansen
fig.2 Nuclear Warning Symbol
Royal Danish Collections

Costume in museum collections can be dangerous because of what it is, how it was made, where it has been, or how it has been treated.

It is important to document what it is not only for historical reasons, but also so you, your colleagues and museum guests are protected. You should be familiar with current health and safety rules for the workplace, and you must have access to suitable protective gear, rolling tables, and lifting equipment.
Working with museum costume can entail lifting heavy things and working in awkward positions and small spaces. This means you must be aware of how you lift and move heavy and fragile objects, not only for their sake but also for your own.


  • contamination: dust, mercury, DDT, heavy metals
  • allergens
  • poisons
  • dangerous or poisoned costume
  • contagious residue
  • heavy and awkward handling


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