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Temperature and Humidity

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					Preservation for the Small
         Library
                                  Elizabeth Slomba
                                University Archivist
             Milne Special Collections and Archives
                                     Dimond Library
                      University of New Hampshire
                                      603-862-2956
                        eslomba@cisunix.unh.edu
    Preservation Principles
•   Prevention
•   Planning
•   Do no harm
•   Being aware
          Prevention
• Know your collections
• Know your building
• Know your resources
  Know Your Collections
• Materials in collections
     •   Books
     •   Videotapes, DVDs, audio books
     •   Newspapers
     •   Periodicals
     •   Maps
     •   Special Collections
          – manuscripts, ephemera, rare books
          – photographs
          – objects
  Know Your Collections
• Materials with preservation problems
  – inherent vice
• Materials that bring problems in
  – gifts and acquisitions
  – mold
• Materials with problems we create
  – binding
  – storage conditions
Materials that bring problems in
 •   Gifts and acquisitions
 •   Mold
 •   Insects
 •   Smells and mildew
    Collection Management
•   Weed collections
•   Evaluate materials before adding
•   Reformating
•   Binding decisions
•   Collection development policies
              Storage
•   Light
•   Temperature
•   Relative Humidity
•   Pollutants
•   Pests
              Light
•   Permanently damages materials
•   Ultraviolet rays
•   Effects cumulative, irreversible
•   Scanning and photocopying damage
             Solutions
•   Turn lights off
•   Curtains and blinds
•   Store items in enclosures, in dark
•   Limit time items are on display
•   Scan once, save file
Temperature and Humidity
• The higher the temperature and
  humidity, the faster the rate of
  deterioration
• High humidity attracts insects and
  encourages mold
• Low humidity causes embrittlement
Temperature and Humidity
• Best range varies
• Stable range for temperature
           no higher than 70
• Stable range for relative humidity
              30% to 50%
• Film and photographs need lower
  temperature and humidity
Temperature and Humidity
• Keep stable
    • Most important
• Monitor
    • Keep year-round records
• Keep outside doors and windows
  closed
Temperature and Humidity
• Seal windows, caulk door frames
• Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity
• Use air-conditioners to reduce
  temperature
• Keep equipment on
    • Turning air-conditioners and dehumidifiers on
      and off undermines creating a stable
      environment
Temperature and Humidity
• HVAC systems
    • Keep track of maintenance schedules
       – Filter changing
       – Is it turned off during the year?
    • Check area around blowers for dust and
      mold
    • Know the basics of how your system works
      and the areas of you building affected by the
      system
          Pollutants
Pollutants cause damage to collections

Examples of pollutants:
   dust
   photocopier ozone
   chemical cleaners and solvents
   off-gassing from shelving, carpets
           Solutions
• Store away from photocopiers
• Use very few to no chemicals when
  cleaning shelves and floors
• Use metal shelving, not wood
• Let carpets, shelving “cure” before
  using and storing materials
              Pests
• Insects and rodents will eat materials
• They are attracted to the glue, starch
  and gelatin in bindings and paper
• They can bring in diseases
           Solutions
• Regular housekeeping
  – vacuuming, dusting, trash removal
• Keep food and drink out of storage
  areas, even better - out of the library
• Do not keep live plants
• Be aware of rodent droppings, insect
  carcasses, change of seasons, likely
  places pests can come into the library
           Planning
• Disaster Planning
• Preservation Planning
      Disaster Planning
• Best protection for your library in case
  of disaster
  – Disasters can be water, fire, anything
    that causes damage to your building and
    collections and possibly threatens your
    staff’s lives
  – Plan for when you need a plan
  Writing a Disaster Plan
• Prioritize
   – Safety for employees
   – Collections
• Assess threats to your building
• Fix problems, weak areas
• Identify cooperative areas and resources
   – Work with police, fire department
• Maintain the plan
Elements of a Disaster Plan
•   Potential threats faced by library
•   Lines of authority and emergency call list
•   First response procedures
•   Emergency and salvage procedures
•   Lists of suppliers, supplies, evacuation
    plans, collection priorities, emergency
    response teams and other similar
    information
Writing a Preservation Plan
• Involve those who care directly for
  collections
• Get an assessment done
  – outside professional
  – self-assessment
• List needs
• Prioritize collections
• Determine cost estimates
   Preservation Planning
• Prioritize collections
  – Actions with greatest impact
     • “most bang for the buck” principle
  – Use
  – Condition
  – Significance
  – At-risk
       Final Thoughts
Do No Harm
  – Do not do any procedure that can not be
    reversed
  – Be thoughtful in approach and planning
       Final Thoughts
Being aware is the best protection
  – Be aware of past incidents and recurring
    problems
  – Keep an eye on the weather
  – Note unusual occurrences
  – Ounce of prevention worth a pound of
    cure
  Additional Resources
• Northeast Document Conservation
  Center
  – www.nedcc.org
• Conservation OnLine
  – palimpsest.stanford.edu/

				
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posted:10/6/2012
language:English
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