All organic materials deteriorate, but research has shown that collections kept in a stable moderate climate will have a longer lifespan that those that are frequently subjected to hot and humid conditions. However, maintaining such a climate can be a challenge. Staff may be faced with older mechanical systems that are difficult to control, systems whose target set points are dictated primarily by the requirements of human comfort, and/or facilities staff who are not sympathetic to the needs of collections.
In this section, you will explore "best practices" for environmental control (e.g., the recommendations of preservation professionals for climate, pollutants, and light exposure in collection storage areas), and begin to consider what type of environment you are currently providing for your collections.
Later in this session you will learn how these "best practices" might be achieved within your building, as well as how you might improve existing conditions even if it is not possible to attain the ideal environment.