The conservation of artefacts is one of the three areas that any museum is required to undertake. Museums, above all, are institutions that conserve real artefacts; conservation is undoubtedly the most complex role of the museum from the perspective of its conventional definition.
The difference between a store of artefacts and a museum lies in the documentation, which orders and organises the items. Documentation is a fundamental tool for the management of collections, creating ways of quick and easy access to the data collected on each artefact (inventories and catalogues are integrated into the documentary system).
We understand that the conservation and documentation systems of our centres must be constantly updated and improved. In the case of the MAG, a large part of the materials were classified, inventoried and packed at the University of La Laguna (1998); in addition, in 2001, another project was undertaken that sought the necessary contact with private collections on the island. The MEG collection was inventoried and packed before the opening of the centre (2007); from that moment on, the inventory and storage was improved, and a conservation system was implemented, with the treatment of mainly wooden pieces. In addition, several inventories of private and public collections in the island context have been carried out from this museum.
In 2019, the foundations were laid for a new conservation and documentation system for the MAG; the project sought to make improvements from the perspective of prevention and the needs in terms of research, which is undoubtedly growing. This project was the beginning of a line of work in conservation and documentation, which is essential for island museums.
Although the stored collections cannot be visited, supervised access to them is a trend that is gaining ground; this recent and growing democratisation of museum collections has been greatly helped by digital media. The museums of La Gomera also hope to follow this path.