The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya has developed a Chemical Conservation Laboratory to conserve the structures and objects collected from different climatic zones right from the snow bound Himalayas to arid zone of Rajasthan and highly humid coastal areas. More than 25 thousand museum objects have been acquired in its reserve collection. Most of the specimens are ethnological in nature and are typical by themselves. They are generally composite in nature; each made of several types of materials and hence receives special conservation techniques in their constitution.
IGRMS Conservation Laboratory is well equipped to conserve structures and objects by preventive as well as chemical conservation. This Laboratory has developed in house facilities to prevent attack from bio organisms like insects and fungus etc. They are treated by using fumigation, spraying of insecticides, application rodenticides and by giving anti termite root level treatment etc. Application of silica gel crystals is being carried out to maintain proper relative humidity both at specimen store and in indoor exhibitions. Chemical conservation which includes cleaning, restoration and preservation is being carried out by using different types of cleaning materials, preservatives, fungicides etc.
Various experiments are being carried out to test the efficacy of natural products like garlic juice, shellac, linseed oil, karanj oil, castor oil etc. in conservation of wooden and leather objects. New formulations are prepared by mixing natural products and chemicals to conserve the wooden objects such as thymol crystals dissolved in linseed oil, which is applied to preserve the wooden objects displayed in the open-air exhibitions. In this way the Laboratory is not only using chemicals but simultaneously also natural products for up keep of structures and specimens. Unit also organises training workshops on conservation of ethnographic specimen for the personnels of museums and other organisations engaged in management of cultural heritage.