Environmental Management: Macro and Microclimates

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This content is excerpted from Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage (2019), Elkin and Norris, eds.

Chapter 21: Specialized Macroclimates and Microclimates: Options for the Control of Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Pollutants

Steven Weintraub, Art Preservation Services, Long Island City, NY

While most museum collections can survive in a broad range of temperature and relative humidity conditions, there are exceptions that must be kept in specialized environments. It is critical to identify such collection needs. It is also important to know how to select appropriate climate control systems for the preservation of collections with specialized climatic requirements. The distinguishing characteristic of a collection storage space is its relative isolation from public spaces. By taking advantage of this condition of isolation, there is an opportunity to fit out storage spaces with dedicated climate control solutions catering to the specific needs of special collections. The utilization of various types of macroclimate and microclimate solutions provides an opportunity to design cost-effective means for achieving specialized environmental conditions. This chapter describes the steps involved in making such decisions.


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