Selection of
Materials for the Storage or Display of Museum Objects (Oddy test)

D Thickett and LR Lee

British Museum Occasional Paper 111
ISBN 0-86159-117-8
© The Trustees of the British Museum 2004

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 Selection of Materials for the Storage or Display of Museum Objects (Oddy test) 

First published in 1996, new and completely revised edition 2004.


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The British Museum’s published database of materials test results contains the results of the 'Oddy' tests and pH tests carried out on materials in the Museum during the previous five years. Some materials release volatile components (solvents, organic acids etc) which, in an enclosed space, may reach levels of concentration capable of damaging objects, corroding metals or harming organic matter, for example. Materials testing is carried out to help determine if materials are safe to use with objects inside showcases, packing crates or stores.

The most recent version of the database and an accompanying document which explains how to use it can be downloaded below. By downloading the database, you agree to the ‘Important Notice and Disclaimer’ stated in the How to Use the Database document.

Please note that access to the database is subject to the Terms of Use of the British Museum website.

Silver tigress from the Hoxne hoard

Silver tigress from the Hoxne hoard, Roman Britain, buried in the 5th century AD