temp & RH
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I am a student and have noticed that some museum professionals seem to be moving away from rigid 50/70 +/-5
RH and temperature specifications toward more flexible guidelines? Why is this? Do you agree with the use of more relaxed standards?
The best environment for storing collections is a complicated topic, with many people having different opinions. To settle some of the debate, the Getty is currently doing a major research project on the issue:
Foekje Boersma, Project Manger for the Managing Collection Enviroments Initiative at the Getty, gave a great talk on the issue a few years ago at the AIC Annual Meeting. The postprints have not come out yet, but I summarized her talk for the AIC blog here:
Follow the links on both of these pages for even more information on the topic.
Elizabeth La Duc
Yes, you are right. The leader in this field of research is the Image Permanence Institute. You can go to their Sustainability site here: http://www.ipisustainability.org/
or the main site: https://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/
and look under Environmental Management.
Highly recommend the workshops if you can attend any and eClimate Notebook materials. Great for learning the science of humidity and dew point, how fluctuations affect (or don’t) materials, how mechanical systems work, and how to do monitoring.
The folks at the Canadian Institute for Conservation have looked at the problem of environmental controls over many years and the varying ability of institutions to attain “ideal” conditions and discuss environmental variability in the following article: https://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/carepreventivecons-soinsconspreventive/controls-niveaux-eng.aspx. It is worth reading.
AIC also has a working group investigating these issues. There is information on AIC’s wiki sit that summarizes some of the historical research up until now and resulted in our current thinking on environmental parameters. The information on the wiki expands upon an earlier article by Pam Hatchfield, “Crack Warp Shrink Flake” that first appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Museum magazine©, American Association of Museums. The wiki entry has an extensive bibliography for further reading.