Keeping our cool: environmental monitoring at the library

(5 July 2018) What do you consider lovely, comfortable weather? Unfortunately, perfect human weather does not look very much like perfect book weather. Books prefer the cool, dark, and dry environments found in climate controlled Cambridge University Special Collection storage. It’s common knowledge for the University Library’s regular readers that the care and keeping of books involves careful handling while the book is being used, but it is the job of the UL Collection Care Team to keep the books safe when they have been returned to the shelves.

One of the main ways this is accomplished is by the careful and comprehensive monitoring of the temperature and humidity in the areas where the Special Collections are being stored and displayed. Keen observers will note the small, unobtrusive devices sitting in the corners of display cases and mounted on walls in the main entrance and reading rooms. These monitor the environment in the cases and the storerooms and provide a wealth of data for the Collection Care Team to use to determine if each area is a safe place for its charges.

The full account is here.