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Subject: Environment


From: Rick Kerschner <rkerschner>
Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Matthew Scott <matthews [at] ho__hht__nsw__gov__au> writes

>What are the realities trying to acclimatise timber objects
>(furniture, architectural elements, objects etc) to a controlled
>museum environment for an exhibition?
>The venue has a controlled environment meeting the requirements of
>the lending institutions, but the concern lies with the objects
>coming from private collections and museums without controlled
>environments where regular RH fluctuations may be 20 to 40%, not to
>mention the temperature.
>Does have advice on reducing the risk of damage from this type of
>environmental change.

I do not see a problem with bring artifacts from private collections
that are used to wide fluctuations of temperature and RH into a more
controlled museum environment as long as the museum environment is
toward the center of the wide fluctuation range. For example, if RH
in the home goes from 20% in the winter to 70% during the summer,
and the museum environment for the exhibit is between 40 and 60%RH,
I cannot see how any harm would be done because the artifact has
already been "proofed" to the more extreme RH conditions.

However, there would be a concern bring an artifact from a desert
region that is used to year-round RH of 20 to 40% into a museum
environment of 40 to 60%. For such a situation, or for the reverse
of bringing an artifact from a rain forest into a museum
environment, I would recommend properly controlled micro-environment

Richard L. Kerschner
Director of Preservation and Conservation
Shelburne Museum
PO Box 10, Route 7
Shelburne, VT  05482
802-985-3348 Ext 3361

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:47
                 Distributed: Friday, December 19, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-47-002
Received on Wednesday, 17 December, 2003

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