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Damage function for historic paper. Part III: Isochrones and demography of collections

Strlič, M; Grossi, CM; Dillon, C; Bell, N; Fouseki, K; Brimblecombe, P; Menart, E; ... De Bruin, G; + view all (2015) Damage function for historic paper. Part III: Isochrones and demography of collections. Heritage Science , 3 (1) 10.1186/s40494-015-0069-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Background In the context of evidence-based management of historic collections, a damage function combines aspects of material degradation, use, and consideration of material attributes that are important for satisfactory extraction of benefits from user interaction with heritage. In libraries and archives, it has been shown that users (readers and visitors) are mainly concerned with loss of textual information, which could lead to degradation being described as unacceptable, at which an object might become unfit for use and therefore damaged. The contribution explores the development of the damage function for historic paper based on data available in the literature. Results We have modelled the dose–response function taking into account 121 paper degradation experiments with known T, RH of the environment, and pH of paper. The function is based on the Arrhenius equation and published water absorption isotherm functions for paper. New isoperm plots have been calculated and isochrones have been developed. These are plots linking points of equal expected ‘lifetime’, i.e. time until an object is expected to reach the state of threshold fitness-for-use. We also modelled demographic curves for a well-characterised research collection of historic papers, exploring the loss of fitness for use with time. Conclusions The new tools enable us to evaluate scenarios of management of the storage environment as well as levels of access, for different types of library and archival paper. In addition, the costs and benefits of conservation interventions can be evaluated. The limitations of the function are the context of use (dark storage and reading), exclusive focus on the properties of an average paper type, and de-prioritised effect of pollutants; however, the latter can be considered separately. This work also demonstrates that transparent and publically accountable collection management decisions can be informed, and challenged by, effective interaction with a variety of stakeholders including the lay public.

Type: Article
Title: Damage function for historic paper. Part III: Isochrones and demography of collections
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40494-015-0069-7
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40494-015-0069-7
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Preventive conservation Collection modelling Fitness for use Wear and tear Libraries and archives
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476350
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