An example of how sunlight can cause fading to textile materials. Knowledge about the lightfastness of materials and how to protect certain artifacts can help to prevent irreversible photochemical damage.

28 days

UV-exposed
UV- blocked  

For the purpose of UV weathering testing, dyed fabric samples were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (via the natural sun) indoors for 28 days in a, closed, west-facing window.  During that time, the samples were exposed to varying amounts of direct sunlight and cloud cover.

Collections Care & Preventative Conservation

Collections care and preventative conservation can be defined as any measure taken that prevents damage or degradation to material cultural heritage (or that reduces the potential for it).

 

In order to mitigate potential risks to a collection, one must first take note of the various agents of deterioration and their unique relationship to each part of a collection. Collection managers, curators, and conservators can all work together to provide optimal care for an institution's collection needs. 

 

PACS is able to assess the mode and frequency of risk type relevant to a collection and develop a plan to mitigate each type of risk present; the end goal is to establish a practical, long-term maintenance and preservation program that can be upheld by museum staff and volunteers. 

PHYSICAL FORCES

natural disaster- earthquake, flood

human error- improper handling, accidents

VANDALS/ THEFT

can include visitors and staff; happens

during normal operating hours, at night, or during an emergency situation

 WATER

water damage to collection items caused by leaking or malfunctioning pipes is preventable! 

FIRE

upkeep and maintenance of the building's fire suppression units and/or extinguishers is important: having an emergency response plan in place is paramount

 PESTS

insects and rodents are the primary culprets here- but don't forget mold/mildew/fungi

POLLUTANTS

LIGHT

TEMPERATURE &

RELATIVE HUMIDITY

CUSTODIAL

NEGLECT

harmful particulates and gases can be generated both inside and outside buildings and can be introduced through the air and by direct contact

light damage is cumulative and photodegradation to materials is irreversible, as illustrated in the didactic on this page

mold, corrosion, hazing/bloom, embrittlement, warping, and cracking are just some of the issues related to improper environmental conditions

includes antiquated museum practices, neglect, and disassociation of collection objects and their records