Environmental monitoring

Data logger to monitor environmental conditions

Data logger 

Monitoring the environment is carried out in order to minimise the risk of damage to and deterioration of the collection. Unsuitable environmental conditions can be damaging to objects, while many other factors such as atmospheric pollutants, incorrect or fluctuating temperatures and/or relative humidity, inappropriate cleaning and/or conservation or restoration treatments and handling, can all contribute to the deterioration of a collection. Although environmental monitoring is recommended for all collections, it is not always possible for small collectors or institutions with limited funding to afford the ideal equipment. However, there are many ways to monitor a collection and put in place simple procedures to ensure its long-term survival without spending a fortune. For example, humidity indicator strips provide a quick, inexpensive and easy means of checking relative humidity levels. The card changes colour according to the humidity level. Although they do not give accurate, quantifiable readings, they can be very useful provided the readings are carefully noted. If they consistently show a high RH, for example, then you’ll know there is a problem, and you can take steps to address it. Your greatest resource is a heritage conservation professional who will advise you.