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Environment: effective monitoring and management (full)

Preservation Advisory Centre Training Day

Wednesday 5 December 2012

British Library Centre for Conservation
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Location Details

Avoiding a ‘one size fits all’ approach to environmental parameters, the day helps you to understand the vulnerabilities and tolerances of your collections and then shows how to set realistic and achievable targets that are appropriate to the materials in your care and the resources available to you. At the end of the day you will be in a strong position to take cost-effective decisions and prioritise actions for maintaining a sustainable environment.

The training day is aimed at people with responsibility for the care of library and archive collections. It is led by Jane Henderson, a lecturer at Cardiff University’s Department of History and Archaeology with demonstrations of equipment by Chris Michael of Meaco. At the end of the day, participants will be able to:

  • explain how library and archive materials are damaged by inappropriate environmental conditions
  • select appropriate temperature and relative humidity target parameters for their own collections
  • select appropriate monitoring equipment for their own collections
  • interpret temperature and relative humidity data
  • create an environmental management action plan for their own collections.

Feedback from previous participants

  • This day has given me the confidence to start doing what I have known I ought to be doing. It has helped me see a practical, attainable way to begin monitoring and how data might be used.
  • I feel much more confident about environmental monitoring and interpreting the data.
  • The practical nature of the day and the opportunity to ask advice is invaluable.


09.45 Registration
10.00 Introduction and welcome
10.15 How collections get damaged
10.30 Agents of deterioration: the role of moisture and temperature in damaging collections
11.00 Units and targets for relative humidity and temperature
11.30 Break
11.45 Setting targets for environmental conditions for library and archive materials
12.15 Environmental targets for collections: the building and the climate
12.45 Lunch
13.30 Environmental monitoring equipment: range of equipment, how to use it, costs and accuracy
14.30 Matching monitoring equipment to your needs: criteria for selection, choosing locations to monitor, collecting data
15.00 Break
15.15 Interpreting RH and temperature charts
16.15 Action planning
16.45 End