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Subject: Heating museum materials

Heating museum materials

From: Howard B. Wellman <wellman>
Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Nynne Sethia <nynnecarl [at] hotmail__com> writes

>I'm working for a museum of cultural history, which is in the
>process of establishing a treatment facility against pests. The
>museum can afford to get a room which can either freeze or heat the
>objects. As a conservator I initially opposed the idea of heating
>museum objects, but it seems to have a few, but very important,
>benefits: If saves a lot of time, because you don't have to wrap
>each object carefully and tight, and it kills both insects and
>mold/fungus at the same time. ...
>... Is there anyone using or
>experimenting with heat treatment, who can give me some comments on
>their experience? If so, which material don't you heat (48 degrees C
>is said to be the minimum for killing insects)?

In 1995 I attended a workshop in London hosted by a German company
who had developed a proprietary system just as you describe.  Their
emphasis was on precisely controlling the RH of the treatment
chamber while increasing the heat to the necessary temperature to
kill the target vermin.  They had gone through testing, and had
published studies of the effects on various historic art materials
including paintings, furniture, textiles, etc.  Alas, I do not have
my notes from this workshop, nor can I remember the name of the
company, but maybe someone else out there can?  What I do remember
was that they were still concerned about the effects of treating
composite wood/metal objects such as furniture with metal fittings.
I hope this helps.

Howard Wellman
10515 Mackall Rd
St. Leonard, MD  20685

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:59
               Distributed: Wednesday, February 27, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-59-005
Received on Wednesday, 20 February, 2002

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