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Amsterdam - Netherlands

Anne Frank House

The museum and the collection

Anne Frank, who went into hiding in 1942, filled a diary and several notebooks with stories about her life. The little girl was in hiding with her sister, parents and four other Jews, trying to escape Nazi barbarism. They hid in a secret part of a house built in 1635 in Amsterdam. 

In 1960, their secret hiding place was transformed into a museum, the Anne Frank House, where the complete manuscript of Anne Frank’s intimate diary is exhibited. The manuscript is a literary and historical treasure and therefore requires high standards of preservation and security.

The assignment

To be able to preserve and protect the manuscript in the best way possible, we worked closely with Dr. Bart Ankersmit, a researcher in conservation and restauration at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. We developed a pull-out showcase, ‘a showcase within a showcase’. It is detached from the ground, to be able to carry out measurement tests in terms of conservation and safety. The inner showcase is disconnected from the floor to avoid vibrations on the artefact and is equipped with silica gel cassettes to manage relative humidity. The air between the inner and outer showcase is being controlled actively. This solution offers only the advantages of active air conditioning, without any inconveniences. This unique techique was developed in collaboration with the University of Eindhoven and Dr. Bart Ankersmit, based on the latter’s thorough research in the field of artefact conservation. The House of Anne Frank has 4000 visitors a day. 

 

The project: challenges and results

We started our research by building a prototype on which a series of tests was run during an entire week. Researchers from the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the Technical University of Eindhoven determined at what temperature and speed the air had to circulate to obtain a fixed temperature of 17°C. The researchers used smoke to evaluate the behaviour of the air. The showcases we manufactured are one of a kind. Thanks to the fresh and stable environment created around the diaries, the generations to come will be able to discover the dramatic and original work of Anne Frank.

"As of June 2018, the original diaries of Anne Frank will be kept in brand new, state of the art display cases. The Anne Frank House had them built to preserve the fragile paper in a stable and cool environment."
Bart Ankersmit

Project

Anne Frank House

Solutions

Custom Design

Country

Netherlands

Year

2018

Type of museum

Biographical Museum

Designer

Dagmar von Wilcken

Scope

State of the art display cases for the diaries of Anne Frank.

More info

"As of June 2018, the original diaries of Anne Frank will be kept in brand new, state of the art display cases. The Anne Frank House had them built to preserve the fragile paper in a stable and cool environment."
Read the full article by Bart Ankersmit


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