It is hard to determine an exact number for each artifact because some items need more care and protection than others. However, on average it costs the Museum between $80 and $100 to process each new item donated to the collection. This includes the staff time to document, clean, number, and create a storage container, plus the average cost of preservation materials such as acid free boxes, tissue, and ethafoam.
Once part of the collection, the average cost of upkeep for each item equals about $3 per year. This includes monitoring for pests and climate, maintaining climate control systems, utility expenses, and general cleaning and upkeep of the facility. This does not include staff time or expenses to address equipment failure, replacing storage containers that have become acidic, or cleaning and maintaining exhibit cases.