This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

The right environment for ‘cultural collections’

29 July 2010

A new specification for environmental conditions for cultural collections in the UK is being developed by BSI. Called PAS 198, it is scheduled for publication in May 2011.

The National Gallery

PAS 198 Specification for environmental conditions for cultural collections will provide a set of requirements for the environmental conditions in which archive, library and museum collections should be stored and displayed. It will include requirements for temperature, relative humidity, light and pollution. It will apply to cultural collections whether in storage, on display or on loan, and to all types and sizes of collections held by all collecting organizations such as archives, libraries and museums, both public and private.
The aim is to help minimize the damage to items caused by inappropriate environmental conditions. PAS 198 will complement other work in progress in related areas, in particular the review of BS 5454:2000, a standard for the storage and exhibition of archival documents, and the forthcoming development of a new European CEN standard for the protection of heritage objects.
The new specification for environmental conditions for cultural collections in the UK is being developed by BSI with sponsorship from Collections Trust; CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales, a division of the Welsh Assembly Government; The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA); and The National Archives. The Publicly Available Specification (PAS) will be called PAS 198 and is scheduled for publication in May 2011.
This development reflects a growing consensus that there is a need for an approach that allows for a more responsible use of energy in the control of environmental conditions. This view is supported by a call from the National Museum Directors’ Conference for a review of collections care policy and practice, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. It also reflects research findings that have shown a need to move away from a prescriptive to an evidence-led approach to environmental management.
The development of PAS 198 Specification for environmental conditions for cultural collections, will include a four-week period of open consultation, due to begin in early 2011. Interested parties are invited to register to participate in the consultation at
Nancy Bell, Head of Collection Care at The National Archives said: “We are delighted to be part of this important new initiative and look forward to working closely with our co-sponsors and with BSI to provide an up-to-date specification, which I believe will be widely welcomed by those caring for collections in archives, libraries and museums.”
Mike Low, Director of BSI Standards commented: “Just as we have been able to enjoy collections in our time, it’s essential that future generations can continue to do so. This PAS will help to make this possible by recognizing the importance of preserving collections in appropriate environmental conditions whilst at the same time ensuring that the resources used to do this are sustainable.”

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Launch of PFM Partnership Awards 2022 categories

With the categories for the PFM Partnership Awards 2022 now live, entries can be submitted at any time between now and the deadline of Wednesday, 11 May....
Article image

PPE regulations to be extended from April

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) will come into effect...
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

Issues of back flushing PIC valves explained

The popularity of Pressure Independent Control (PIC) valves over the last few years has significantly increased and now are the popular choice of many syst...
Article image

Center Parcs goes cashless with Systopia

Systopia, which deals with cashless payment systems, has secured a contract with UK Short Break Operator Center Parcs to provide cashless payment systems i...
Article image

Increased effort to resolve cladding issues for leaseholders

Recent weeks have seen increased activities and efforts to address the issues of unsafe cladding on blocks of apartments....