The Museum Environment

The Museum Environment

2nd Edition - January 1, 1986

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  • Author: Garry Thomson
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483102719

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The Museum Environment, Second Edition deals with the behavior and conservation of the various classes of museum exhibit. This book is divided into six sections that provide museum specifications for conservation. This text highlights the three contributing factors in the deterioration and decay of museum exhibits, namely light, humidity, and air pollution. Each section describes the mechanism of deterioration and the appropriate “preventive conservation”. The changes in this edition from the previous include the electronic hygrometry, fluorescent lamps, buffered cases, air conditioning systems, and data logging and control in historic buildings. This book is of great value to conservation researchers and museum workers.

Table of Contents

  • Light Part I Surface Deterioration

    Light and Heat Energy

    The Spectrum

    The Basic Light Sources

    Colors and Materials which Change

    Damage Caused by UV and Visible Radiation

    UV Radiation and How to Deal with it

    Measuring UV and Visible Radiation

    The Reciprocity Law

    Controlling Visible Radiation

    Reducing Illuminance

    50 Lux — Artificial Light

    Diffusion of Light

    200 Lux — Daylight and Artificial Light

    Conservation Lighting Specifications

    Treatment of Windows

    Angle at which Light Falls on Exhibits

    Reducing Time of Exposure

    A Suite of Exhibition Rooms


    Control of Temperature

    Lighting for Professional Photography, Television and Restoration

    Electronic Flash

    Color Rendering

    The Measurement of Color

    The Lighting Situation and the Process of Seeing

    Humidity Part I The Importance of Humidity

    Measuring the Humidity in the Air

    The Wet-and-Dry-Bulb Hygrometer

    Electronic Hygrometers

    Non-Mechanical Hygrometers

    Understanding the Hygrometric Chart

    Response of Museum Material to RH

    Best RH for Moisture-Containing Absorbent Materials

    Climate Inside and Outside the Museum

    Condensation and the Dew Point

    Humidity Control

    RH Control in a Room

    The Humidistat

    Humidifying Equipment

    Dehumidifying Equipment

    Room RH Control: Maintenance and Air Circulation

    Packaged Air-Conditioning Units

    Ducted Air Conditioning

    RH Control in a Closed Case — Buffers

    Silica Gel in Packing Cases

    Exhibition Cases

    The Buffered Case: Towards a Practical Solution

    RH Control in a Closed Case — Use of Salts

    Mechanical RH Stabilization in Cases

    Future Development of Exhibition Case Stabilization

    RH is Often a Matter of Compromise

    Historic Buildings Closed in Winter and Churches

    Improvisation and RH Control

    Humidity Control in Archaeology

    Air Pollution Part I The Problem


    Particulate Concentrations Today

    New Concrete Buildings

    Removal of Particulates

    Electrostatic Precipitators (Electro-Filters)

    Gaseous Pollution

    Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

    Damage Caused by Sulfur Dioxide

    Glass and Sulfur Dioxide

    Effects of Sulfur Dioxide on Lichens and Mosses


    Effects of Ozone

    Nitrogen Oxides

    Effects of Nitrogen Dioxide

    Levels of Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Likely to be Encountered


    Pollution through Storage Conditions

    Removal of Gaseous Pollutants

    Fire Extinguishers

    Sound and Vibration

    Light Part II Spectral Curves

    Sun and Sky

    Lamps and Control Equipment

    Measuring UV

    Luminous Efficiency and the Light Meter

    Some Basic Light Units

    Visual Performance

    Luminance and Subjective Brightness

    The Blue Wool Standards

    Damage Versus Wavelength

    Heat Radiated from Light Sources

    Activation Energy

    The Primary Photochemical Reaction

    Placing a Color on the CIE Chromaticity Chart

    The Color Rendering Calculation

    Color Rendering and the Black Body Convention

    Choosing a Fluorescent Lamp


    Humidity Part II The Standard Hygrometric (Psychrometric) Chart

    The Classical Air-Conditioning Operation

    A Museum Air-Conditioning System


    Heating and Cooling Loads


    External Design Conditions

    Dimensional Changes Caused by RH Variation

    Outdoor Climate and Response of Objects Indoors

    Does Constant RH Keep Dimensions Unchanged at all Temperatures?

    Effect of People on RH and Temperature

    Use of the Air Moisture-Content Scale

    The Closed and Buffered Museum Case

    Hygrometric Half-Time

    Materials Useful as Buffers

    Penetration of Oxygen and Water Vapor through Plastic Films

    Air Pollution Part II Plotting the Size Distribution of Particulates

    Choice of Particulate Filter

    Efficiency of Activated Carbon Filters

    Room Air Cleaners

    Measuring Concentrations of Pollutants in Museums

    The Fate of Sulfur Dioxide in the Atmosphere

    The Formation of Ozone

    Computers in Environment Control

    Data Logging

    Future Trends in Environmental Control

    Appendix: Summary of Specifications



Product details

  • No. of pages: 312
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 1986
  • Published: January 1, 1986
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483102719

About the Author

Garry Thomson

About the Editors

Andrew Oddy

Derek Lintrum

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