Spara och bevara* bibliographic database

Schulze, Andreas (2013) How the usual museum climate recommendations endanger our cultural heritage. Climate for Collections - Standards and Uncertainties. Postprints of the Munich Climate Conference 7 to 9 November 2012. pp. 81-92.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


Recommended environmental conditions for collections became common in the international museum world from the middle of the last century. These targets mainly defined ranges of relative humidity at certain room temperatures and also set the limits of any acceptable fluctuations from these parameters for different materials and different groups of items. Today, these demands for 18 to 22 °C and x % relative humidity all year round are accepted as canonical not only by museum professionals but also by those who care for other types of cultural heritage like churches or historic houses. In practice, these recommendations can only be met with the use of extensive technical equipment or in buildings specially constructed to meet these specifications. However, when visiting our historic monuments, for example castles, manor houses or churches, it is striking that innumerable pieces of art and culture have survived in an excellent state of preservation under environmental conditions which are far from the recommended museum climate. In central Europe, the average values of the original climatic conditions in historic buildings are normally colder and more humid than in the theory of ‘harmless museum environments’ and follow the seasonal cycle of the climate outside the buildings. This paper will describe the personal experiences of the author concerning these problems through selected examples. It will be focused on historic buildings with complex interiors and on the differences between the ‘original’ environmental conditions of the buildings and the so-called ‘museum climate’. It will also consider the problems air-conditioning or heating systems can cause for the buildings and for parts of the original interiors associated with the exterior walls. In the second part, the paper will discuss the actual recommendations for ‘museum climates’, particularly those for temperature. Finally, it will illustrate some proposals for alternative strategies with examples of interventions on monuments in Saxony.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Museums, Climate recommendations,Relative humidity, Temperature, Air-conditioning, Heating systems
Subjects: English > Climate Control
?? climcon ??
Depositing User: Universitetsadjunkt Susanna Carlsten
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 09:21
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 12:25

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item