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Subject: Declaration on Environmental Guidelines

Declaration on Environmental Guidelines

From: Graham Voce <iic<-a>
Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
IIC, the International Institute for the Conservation of Historic
and Artistic Works, together with ICOM-CC, the International Council
of Museums, Committee for Conservation, is pleased to announce a
joint Declaration on Environmental Guidelines.  Developed by the two
organisations over the last eighteen months and finalised at recent
conferences in Melbourne, Australia (ICOM-CC) and Hong Kong (IIC),
the declaration provides guidance for collecting institutions, both
large and small, on how to provide sustainably responsible
environmental conditions for collections.

For further details, contact Sarah Staniforth, President of IIC at
president<-a t->iiconservation< . >org or Graham Voce, Executive Secretary of
IIC on iic<-a t->iiconservation< . >org and  +44 20 7799 5500

The full text of the Declaration is as follows:

    Environmental Guidelines - IIC and ICOM-CC Declaration

    At the IIC congress in Hong Kong and the ICOM-CC conference in
    Melbourne in September 2014 the delegates discussed and agreed
    the following declaration:

    The conservation profession has come together and agreed a
    position on environmental guidelines as follows:

    Sustainability and management

        The issue of museum sustainability is much broader than the
        discussion on environmental standards, and needs to be a key
        underlying criterion of future principles.

        Museums and collecting institutions should seek to reduce
        their carbon footprint and environmental impact to mitigate
        climate change, by reducing their energy use and examining
        alternative renewable energy sources.

        Care of collections should be achieved in a way that does
        not assume air conditioning (HVAC).  Passive methods, simple
        technology that is easy to maintain, air circulation and
        lower energy solutions should be considered.

        Risk management should be embedded in museum management

    Museum environment

        It is acknowledged that the issue of collection and material
        environmental requirements is complex, and
        conservators/conservation scientists should actively seek to
        explain and unpack these complexities.

        Guidelines for environmental conditions for permanent
        display and storage should be achievable for the local


        There needs to be transparency about actual environmental
        conditions achieved in museums to ensure that realistic
        requirements are made for loan conditions.

        Noting that most museums in the world have no climate
        control systems in their exhibition and storage spaces, we
        acknowledge the need for a document that will influence
        decision makers that the environmental conditions for
        international loans may not be appropriate for the permanent
        display and storage of collections in all museums.

        There needs to be flexibility in the provision of
        environmental conditions for loans from museums which have
        climatic conditions different from the set points in the
        guidelines.  This may be achieved with alternative
        strategies such as microclimates.

    Existing guidelines

        The existing interim guidelines agreed by AIC, AICCM, the
        Bizot group etc (see Appendix) should be guidelines not
        interim guidelines.  It is noted that these guidelines are
        intended for international loan exhibitions.


    Bizot Interim Guidelines for Hygroscopic Materials

    For many classes of object[s] containing hygroscopic material
    (such as canvas paintings, textiles, ethnographic objects or
    animal glue) a stable relative humidity (RH) is required in the
    range of 40-60% and a stable temperature in the range 16-25
    deg.C with fluctuations of no more than +/-10% RH per 24 hours
    within this range.

    More sensitive objects will require specific and tighter RH
    control, depending on the materials, condition, and history of
    the work of art.  A conservator's evaluation is essential in
    establishing the appropriate environmental conditions for works
    of art requested for loan.

    The AICCM recommended Interim Temperature and Relative Humidity
    Guidelines for acceptable storage and display conditions of
    general collection material are:

    Temperature:  between 15-25 deg. C with allowable fluctuations
    of +/-4 deg. C per 24 hr

    Relative Humidity:  between 45-55% with an allowable fluctuation
    of +/- 5% per 24 hr

    Where storage and display environments experience seasonal
    drift, RH change to be managed gradually across a wider range
    limited to 40% - 60%

    Temperature and Relative Humidity parameters for preservation of
    cultural materials will differ according to their material,
    construction and condition, but stable conditions maintained
    within the parameters above are generally acceptable for most

    AIC Interim Guidelines endorsed by the Association of Art Museum

    For the majority of cultural materials, a set point in the range
    of 45-55% relative humidity with an allowable drift of +/-5%,
    yielding a total annual range of 40% minimum to 60% maximum and
    a temperature range of 59-77 deg. F (15-25 deg. C), is

    Fluctuations must be minimized.

    Some cultural materials require different environmental
    conditions for their preservation.

    Loan requirements for all objects should be determined in
    consultation with conservation professionals.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 28:23
                Distributed: Thursday, November 6, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-28-23-002
Received on Wednesday, 5 November, 2014

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