Since a program for environmental monitoring and control is a crucial part of preventive conservation, the Conservation Outreach Program has equipment that is available to historical societies, museums, libraries and archives in Minnesota.
The environmental test kit contains instruments that measure temperature, humidity, light in the visible range, and ultra-violet light. The kit also contains several items that the borrower keeps for continued environmental monitoring: a blue-wool scale for cumulative damage from light, a humidity indicator card, a pH pen for checking that paper, mat board and storage boxes are acid-free, a sticky-trap for monitoring insect activity, and a manual that explains the use of the equipment and supplies together with sample forms for recording the data that will be collected as part of a monitoring program.
The datalogger is a small, self-contained instrument that measures temperature and relative humidity and stores that data to a microchip in the instrument. The datalogger is placed in one or more locations over a period of three weeks. At the end of that period, the datalogger is returned to MHS where the data is downloaded, printed, and analyzed by a staff conservator. A printed copy of the data together with the analysis is then returned to the institution.
An Outreach Program conservator is available to answer questions, assist in implementing a monitoring program, or to discuss improving the environment in an institution's exhibit or storage spaces. The only cost to the borrowing institution for this service is return postage and insurance. To borrow an environmental test kit or a datalogger, contact the Conservation Outreach program by phone at 651/259-3388 or 800/657-3773, FAX at 651/296-9961, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.