Sustainable Preservation Practices for Managing Storage Environments Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University - October 28-29, 2010
Sterling Memorial Library Entrance
I had the good fortune last week of attending the Sustainable Preservation Practices Regional Workshop organized by the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) and funded by an NEH grant. The 2-day session was lead by internationally known experts Jim Reilly, Director of IPI, Peter Herzog, of Wheeler & Associates, and IPI newcomer Kristin Smith.
For the most part, the day focussed on theory, new developments, and recent research trends within the context of defining a sustainable preservation environment. In the morning we looked at the fundamentals of the preservation environment and its effects on mechanical deterioration (physical decay), chemical chances, and biological decay. A somewhat revolutionary change (for myself anyways) was the evidence that holding temperature steady ("flat-lining") shows no direct beneficial evidence. While it is best practice to maintain a cool and moderately dry environment... current thinking allows for reasonable range of chances, particularly with seasonal change. The afternoon comprised of four sections. Peter discussed what factors affect the preservation environment such as as regional and local climates, the building envelope, and hvac systems. He also talked about how these environments used energy. Kristin Smith talked about the process of collecting appropriate data from your preservation environments and how you can analyze this data. Jim finished the day talking about an area that is often overlooked or undervalued... the notion that achieving an optimum preservation environment is a shared goal and the importance of creating a team focussed on achieving that goal.