Treatment > Monitoring

Recommendations

Sustain in-house and contracted monitoring as part of integrated pest management system.

Augment by training caretakers to help monitor conditions in each house. Support by developing greater means to report changes in environment, conditions or any other changes.

Definition

"Housekeeping is planning and monitoring, as much as it is hands-on collections care. Housekeeping requires looking as much as doing."

Ch. 13: Museum Housekeeping (PDF file), Museum Handbook, Part I: Museum Collections, NPS Museum Handbook, Part I, National Park Service, 1998, pp. 4.

Ongoing and periodic monitoring of:

  • temperature and moisture
  • light
  • pollutants
  • fire (detection, suppression systems)
  • security
  • structural movement, the effects of vibration
  • pests

"Measuring and recording temperature and relative humidity. Ideally environmental conditions in all library areas should be adequately monitored and recorded with reliable and regularly maintained thermohygrographic or electronic recording equipment. Monitoring is very important because it:

    1. documents existing environmental conditions
    2. alerts staff to any sudden changes in temperature and humidity
    3. supports requests to install environmental controls such as the use of humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and fans.
    4. indicates whether any climate-control equipment present is operating properly and producing the desired conditions

Environmental Monitoring, Library and Preservation Services, University of Oxford.

"...nothing is static. When we discuss systems and materials in the context of deterioration, we are discussing the very nature of change. Even in the course of discussing change, however, we will tend to look at it in terms of what is referred to as steady state equilibrium, which means that there is movement; the parts are moving but there is no net alteration in the system."

Harris, Samuel Y., Building Pathology: Deterioration, Diagnostics, and Intervention. New York: John: Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001, p. 14. [This book is available from Wiley.]

Resources

The physics of the museum environment by Tim Padfield

Monitoring Temperature and Relative Humidity, Northern States Conservation Center.

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