Libraries and Archives in Historic Buildings

David Thickett, Soek-Joo Rhee and Sarah Lambarth

The likely effects of major environmental parameters: temperature, relative humidity, light, dust and pollutant gases, have been studied in a range of historic libraries and archaeological archives. Paper lifetimes based on time weighted preservation indices or cellulose isoperms exceeded those calculated from the maximum temperature and RH allowable under the standard BS5454. Light doses were found to be significantly under those expected from the blind management regime in place. Significant additional damage from light was not measured on the spines of leather bound books, which would be expected to receive the most light. Dust deposition was found to correlate strongly with human traffic, height and gap size between the book tops and the bottom of the shelf above.