There is much more to MIA’s collection than is on display in the museum. Only about 10% of the collection can be seen in the ‘permanent galleries’ on floors 2 and 3. Behind the scenes, we care for a diverse collection of objects from across the Islamic world.
We carefully document our collections using modern computer systems, so that we have the most up-to-date information about each object. That includes moving and tracking objects around the building, labelling objects with their unique accession number, maintaining the object in the permanent exhibition galleries, as well as research, conservation and photography projects.
For each special exhibition held at MIA, we bring in objects from around the world to complement our collections. We also lend our objects nationally and internationally to support Islamic art exhibitions.
Our staff are highly skilled in conservation, documentation and object handling, to ensure that our collections are preserved for future generations.
We share our knowledge, experience and expertise through publications, lectures and workshops, and opportunities to collaborate on research and conservation projects with other institutions.
MIA has one of the most advanced conservation laboratories in Qatar where our team of specialist conservators works with curators, registrars, exhibitions and gallery teams to understand, document, explain and present MIA’s collections.
We work with a wide variety of objects including manuscripts and books, ceramics and glass, metals and jewellery, wood and stone, and textiles collections. Our conservation activities follow recognised international standards and professional codes of ethics.
We care for each object in the MIA collection, whether it is on display, in storage or during transportation. We also monitor environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, light and check for possible pest activity. We will examine an object’s component materials, the technology that created it and any causes of deterioration, then decide if an object should receive remedial treatment, and if so, what kind. That way the MIA collections are safely preserved, can be used for research and displayed to the public.