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Comments about museum and archive environmental standards

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I do not believe that BS5454:2000 goes far enough. The archival environment should be cooler and dryer than the recommended British archival benchmarks. As for maintaining the conditions, many US high-density archival facilities have been maintaining superior conditions, such as 50F (9C) & 35% relative humidity, for years.

Furthermore, it is possible to reduce electricity use in such facilities by as much as 1/3 by seeking out other ways to reduce energy use, such as reducing air flow, within reason, and changing lighting. The climate within the storage areas must be of paramount concern. The difference between BS5454 and a climate of 50F & 35% rh in terms of aging the paper: 56 years for the British standard and 266 years for the tighter standard.

When planning an archival facility, know that it is possible.

Tom Schneiter 2009-08-11

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Page last modified on August 18, 2011, at 03:33 PM