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Subject: Insulated modular storage without environmental controls

Insulated modular storage without environmental controls

From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Thursday, February 10, 2000
Paula Sagerman <redfish [at] together__net> writes

>The Brattleboro Historical Society (VT, USA) would like to use part
>of an old barn for storage of archival materials if there is a way
>to protect the materials from deterioration.  We have paper,
>textiles, furniture, etc.  In order to protect the building
>envelope, we are considering building a "box within a box" using
>insulated, sheet-rocked walls and ceiling.  However, there will not
>be any climate control. Are any materials safe in this situation?

The answer to your question is, of course, more complicated than
"yes" or "no."  Questions about whether what you are planning is
advisable include a comparison between where the collections are now
and where they are going. I assume that present conditions are not
very good (or else you presumably would not be looking for a new
space).  Another question is what you mean by no climate control.
Will the space be heated at all?  Normally, people recommend that
objects be kept above freezing, but heating to comfort levels for
people will make RH levels very low in the winter, so this questions
has to be discussed in more detail.  Questions about the potential
for water leakage from above or seepage from below, the frequency of
inspection, and fire safety are just as important (if not more so)
than exact temperature and RH levels.

My overall recommendation would be to hire a conservator familiar
with these matters.  A day's fee for a consultant could save you a
great deal of both money and grief.  Some of your questions can only
be answered after an inspection of the collections and a
consideration of all the alternatives. Please feel free to contact
me individually for a referral.  [Have you had a conservation
assessment? If not, you should.  Any conservator who has been on
site should be able to help you.]

Barbara Appelbaum
Appelbaum & Himmelstein

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:44
               Distributed: Wednesday, February 16, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-44-005
Received on Thursday, 10 February, 2000

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