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A Museum on the Move

6/16/16 8:36 AM

The University of Michigan is keeping busy hauling more than 13 million museum specimens to its new state-of-the-art facility. The University's zoology, paleontology and anthropology collections are being meticulously packed and shipped to its research facility, which has been renovated and equipped with modern safety and environmental standards.

Over the past six years, the University of Michigan has spent about $35 million to renovate the facility and pay for the collections to be moved. To make sure the specimens and artifacts remain in pristine condition, environmental controls have been installed to monitor temperature and relative humidity levels, specific for each collection.

Since a majority of the specimens are considered organic materials, the key to conservation is to closely monitor the surrounding environmental conditions. Fluctuating temperatures can cause materials to expand and contract rapidly, and is the primary factor in stabilizing relative humidity levels.

In exhibit spaces, the recommended temperature level is 64 to 68 °F. At higher temperatures, chemical reactions and biological activity increases, which softens materials and promotes deterioration, discoloration, mold and corrosion. When the temperature goes up, relative humidity goes down; when temperature goes down, relative humidity goes up. That means warmer air holds more water vapor, which plays a role in various chemical and physical forms of deterioration.

Data loggers have become common tools in museums for monitoring and recording the environment where priceless pieces are showcased and stored.

MadgeTech offers a variety of innovative data loggers, including a wireless series that allows users to monitor parameters in real-time and set alerts to tell them the instant there is a problem. Included with all MadgeTech data loggers is the MadgeTech 4 Software, which allows users to customize features to meet their needs. With the addition of the new MadgeTech Cloud Services, it is easy to view real-time data from anywhere in the world, on any internet enabled device, free of charge!

To view MadgeTech's complete line for museum monitoring and art preservation, click here.

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