The Preservation Librarian monitors the temperature and relative humidity in special collection storage areas. Dataloggers and hygrothermographs are employed to collect environmental data and recorded data is stored as part of the Library's efforts to achieve a non-damaging environment for their unique and valuable collections. Since 2001, the department has participated in a nation-wide project to study temperature and relative humidity in libraries, museums, and other repositories. This national endeavor is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and administered by the Image Permanence Institute. Research results are used to improve knowledge and understanding of environmental controls and HVAC systems and how they impact all types of organic material held in libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives.
Hygrothermographs and dataloggers are strategically placed in twelve locations, including the British and American sections of Fales Library, Tamiment/Wagner Archives, University Archives, and various locations at the Cooper Square facility.
Weekly and monthly temperature and relative humidity data are gathered and reviewed using Climate Note Book® (CNB) software developed by the Image Permanent Institute (IPI). Awareness of temperature and relative humidity conditions allows library and building managers to intercede when environmental control systems are not working effectively.
Information regarding temperature and relative humidity in the areas mentioned above can be obtained for the periods 1988-present by contacting Paula De Stefano, Head, Preservation Department.
NYU's Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department is sponsor of a New York State Conservation and Preservation Program coordinated grant entitled, "NYS Environmental Assessment Project." This is a two-year project designed to incorporate specialized third party oversight of environmental conditions at the six NYS libraries participating in the grant. Participants collect temperature and relative humidity data on dataloggers designed by IPI and send the data to IPI where it is analyzed and posted on a website shared by the group. In addition to monthly, expert analysis of the data, the participants will actively compare, discuss, and increase their understanding of the value of this element in the preservation program.
Note: monitoring equipment is not used in general collections areas for security reasons.