Testing and implementation of microclimate storage containers

Dana K. Senge


This article presents microclimate storage research recently conducted by conservators in the National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Region Museum Services Program. Museum collections in the Intermountain Region encompass artwork, historic objects, prehistoric and historic archaeological objects, and natural history specimens. These collections contain metals that are subject to environmentally induced deterioration and plastics whose inherent deterioration can be slowed with environmental control. Microclimates have been used in various forms to protect these materials while in storage.

We have been reassessing microclimates currently used in the NPS Intermountain Region and researching improved methods. This has included reviewing microclimate storage methods used in museum collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Our research has examined: access to materials to create microclimates, ease of creation, ability to maintain a climate, ease of access to objects inside, and maintenance. This article summarizes our research and testing to date.

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