Damage function for historic paper. Part III: Isochrones and demography of collections

Strlič, Matija, Grossi, Carlota M., Dillon, Catherine, Bell, Nancy, Fouseki, Kalliopi, Brimblecombe, Peter, Menart, Eva, Ntanos, Kostas, Lindsay, William, Thickett, David, France, Fenella and De Bruin, Gerrit (2015) Damage function for historic paper. Part III: Isochrones and demography of collections. Heritage Science, 3. ISSN 2050-7445

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Abstract

Background: In the context of evidence-based management of historic collections, a damage function combines aspects of material degradation, use, and consideration of material attributes that are important for satisfactory extraction of benefits from user interaction with heritage. In libraries and archives, it has been shown that users (readers and visitors) are mainly concerned with loss of textual information, which could lead to degradation being described as unacceptable, at which an object might become unfit for use and therefore damaged. The contribution explores the development of the damage function for historic paper based on data available in the literature. Results: We have modelled the dose–response function taking into account 121 paper degradation experiments with known T, RH of the environment, and pH of paper. The function is based on the Arrhenius equation and published water absorption isotherm functions for paper. New isoperm plots have been calculated and isochrones have been developed. These are plots linking points of equal expected ‘lifetime’, i.e. time until an object is expected to reach the state of threshold fitness-for-use. We also modelled demographic curves for a well-characterised research collection of historic papers, exploring the loss of fitness for use with time. Conclusions: The new tools enable us to evaluate scenarios of management of the storage environment as well as levels of access, for different types of library and archival paper. In addition, the costs and benefits of conservation interventions can be evaluated. The limitations of the function are the context of use (dark storage and reading), exclusive focus on the properties of an average paper type, and de-prioritised effect of pollutants; however, the latter can be considered separately. This work also demonstrates that transparent and publically accountable collection management decisions can be informed, and challenged by, effective interaction with a variety of stakeholders including the lay public.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords: preventive conservation,collection modelling,fitness for use,wear and tear,libraries and archives
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 00:06
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2020 22:09
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59817
DOI: 10.1186/s40494-015-0069-7

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