Ellab helping to protect V&A collections


26 April 2023
The Jameel Gallery at the V&A

Ellab is once again providing crucial environmental monitoring systems for the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).

The upgrade of the V&A system has been implemented across four of the museum family’s UK sites. New base stations are being installed at the V&A in South Kensington, Young V&A in Bethnal Green, V&A East Museum and V&A East Storehouse, both of which are part of East Bank, located near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

The new base stations co-ordinate flood and other sensors as well as monitoring the relative humidity and temperature of the rooms they are placed in. With training from Ellab, V&A conservation experts are also able to complete regular tests of the sensors using a signal strength meter. The scalable setup now provides 24/7 monitoring of the four museums and will help preserve national collections for years to come.

Having worked together since the late 1980s, Ellab ensures that the collections of art, design and performance on display and in storage are protected. Ellab Monitoring Solutions, previously known as Hanwell Solutions, installed the museum’s original data loggers and the partnership was further strengthened in the early 2000s when the museum installed a new Ocean ‘RadioLog’ system. 

In 2018 the V&A looked to upgrade and refurbish its environmental monitoring system to ensure its collections continue to be protected by equipment of the highest standard. Richard Manning, regional sales manager for Ellab , explained: “After decades of working with such a prestigious partner as the V&A, we were delighted to once again be tasked with the huge responsibility of protecting some of our nation’s most valued (and priceless) heritage. It’s a big commitment to heritage protection from the V&A and it’s taken some considerable time to complete this massive project across all four sites, involving some very careful co-ordination and co-operation with the V&A team to ensure the best possible outcome.”

Content continues after advertisements

The Renaissance City 1350-1600

Pedro Gaspar, head of conservation at the V&A, added: “We’ve got a strong relationship with Ellab. The latest monitoring technology is so simple to use and my colleagues can easily oversee and maintain its accuracy across all our sites. I’m confident our collections couldn’t be in better hands.”

Ellab has worked on multiple conservation and heritage projects in the UK such as the Mary Rose Warship in Portsmouth and the Banqueting Hall at the Palace of Whitehall. The company provides innovative humidity, temperature and CO₂ monitoring platforms that use sensors to control the environmental conditions of vulnerable artefacts.