Annelies Cosaert, Vincent Laudato Beltran, Geert Bauwens, Melissa King, Rebecca Napolitano, Bhavesh Shah, and Joelle Wickens, 2022

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The collection environment, including temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH), is an important consideration in formulating management strategies that can have a long-term effect on collections and institutions. To meet specific needs, sensor manufacturers and select heritage institutions have developed a variety of tools to analyze environmental data. This publication explores the perspectives of collection care professionals, educators, engineers, and computer scientists on data analysis, and presents overviews of data analysis and visualization techniques, and existing T and RH analysis tools. It also examines the benefit of integration with related datasets; the importance of effective dissemination, education, and collaboration; and future tool development.

While most users rely on a single tool, expanding access to a suite of tools with complementary approaches offers a more holistic view of the data and improves communication with stakeholders. Further, the continued evolution of these tools and the creation of new tools should be a collaborative effort between tool developers and staff managing museum environments to ensure that tools are intuitive and easy to use, widely accessible, and supported by effective didactic material.

Managing Collection Environments Initiative
Building on its prior work in preventive conservation, the Managing Collection Environments Initiative organized a December 2019 meeting to discuss environmental data analysis and visualization tools. Meeting participants represented tool users and developers from a range of disciplines, including conservation, engineering, architecture, data science, and building physics. Focused largely on air temperature and relative humidity data which are commonly collected in the cultural heritage field, the meeting sought a framework to support development and use of data analysis tools. This publication summarizes the meeting’s discussions and provides an entry point into a broader dialogue about preventive conservation tools.

How to Cite this Work
Cosaert, Annelies, Vincent Laudato Beltran, Geert Bauwens, Melissa King, Rebecca Napolitano, Bhavesh Shah, and Joelle Wickens. 2022. Tools for the Analysis of Collection Environments: Lessons Learned and Future Development. Research Report. Edited by Annelies Cosaert and Vincent Laudato Beltran. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute.