Microclimate storage for metals (and other humidity-sensitive collections): Practical solutions

Gretchen Anderson

Abstract

We all know that environmental conditions for collections, either in storage or exhibition, are rarely ideal. And sometimes they are dreadful. This is particularly true for humidity-sensitive collections such as archaeological metals. It is often impossible to reach ideal conditions due to lack of funding or to limitations of the physical building. We strive to reach a balance between these issues to achieve the best possible environment for all collections, including these sensitive collections, while living within budgets and building requirements.

Practical solutions for these challenges must be sought. They must be within budget and be easily maintained. This article explores the development of microclimate containers for humidity-sensitive collections. This series of solutions was developed at the Science Museum of Minnesota over a 15-year period, each solution building on the strengths of the previous. It is hoped that the reader will adapt these ideas to their own situations.

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