Pollutants in the Museum Environment
Practical Strategies for Problem Solving in Design, Exhibition and Storage
Pamela B. Hatchfield
For centuries the world's art and artifacts have been brought into museums and collections in an attempt to preserve them and the cultural history they represent. Yet it has become apparent only with the benefit of hindsight and, increasingly, with today's technological advances, that the environment designed to protect can also be putting these precious and vulnerable objects at risk.
The environment in which artifacts are housed continually acts on them: it can alter them chemically, accelerate the aging process or provide the benign climate that minimizes the potential for damage; it can make the difference between destruction and preservation. Preventive conservation has therefore become a primary focus in the care of collections today, and in Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Pamela Hatchfield (of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) provides a rich resource of information on the subject. The sources of pollutants, methods of testing for them and their potential to damage materials exposed to them are all examined, as are a range of construction materials used in the museum environment, from wood products to plastics. In addition, strategies for preventing or limiting damage such as the choice of stable materials, the protection of objects in enclosures, and the mitigation of pollutants, are laid out in detail.
Pollutants in the Museum Environment is an invaluable and practical guide for all those who have to deal with the challenge of preventive conservation - from architects and designers to curators, conservators and collections care specialists - and points the way towards the provision of a properly safe haven for the art and artifacts placed in our care.
Dimensions 209 x 275mm
Illustrations 25 halftone
Published June 2002