A Comparison of Preservation Metrics Expressing Mechanical, Chemical and Biological Damages

Annelies Cosaert, Renaud Gérard, Alexandre Mayer, Olivier Deparis

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Preservation metrics are used to estimate the risk of probable damage to an object or collection in relation to an institution’s indoor climate, by translating a temperature and relative humidity dataset into an expression of risk/probabilities of material change, be it temporary or permanent. The types of material change considered are mechanical (e.g. cracks, deformation, swelling and shrinking), chemical (e.g. oxidation, colour changes and material decay) and biological (mould growth). The series of consecutive calculations that make up a preservation metric express what the change to a theoretical object or collection might be. This paper focuses on the differences between these calculations and their impact on the interpretation of the results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICOM-CC 20th Triennial Conference Preprints
Subtitle of host publicationWorking Towards a Sustainable Past
EditorsJ Bridgland
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherInternational Council of Museums
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2023
EventICOM-CC 20th Triennial Conference: Working Towards a Sustainable Past - Reina Sofía building, Valencia, Spain
Duration: 18 Sept 202322 Sept 2023


ConferenceICOM-CC 20th Triennial Conference
Internet address


  • preventive conservation
  • Cultural heritage
  • preservation metrics
  • temperature
  • relative humidity
  • collection environments
  • tools


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