Preventative Conservation: Integrated Pest Management

Amanda Jones: Future Conservator

Usually when people think about conservation, they think about the physical treatment performed on an object to minimize degradation. To conservators, this is called interventive conservation. In reality the first step for a conservator when dealing with a collection of objects that are degrading is practicing what is known as preventative conservation. This aspect of conservation is the act of preventing degradation through damage incurred via their handling, use, transport, storage and display. The ten common agents of deterioration, as described in my Museum Collections Management module last year, include:

  • Incorrect temperature
  • Incorrect relative humidity
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Pests
  • Pollutants
  • Light (including UV and radiation)
  • Physical forces
  • Thieves and vandals
  • and Disassociation.

The agent we are going to focus on is pests. They are one thing that every person has had to deal with in everyday life that is also a major threat to the survival of collections. These little guys…

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