Tinytag data loggers record environmental information to help ensure museum artefacts on display and in storage are protected from harm, and for museum accreditation purposes.
Langton Matravers Museum in Dorset primarily serves to inform
the public and educational groups about the local Purbeck stone
industry from Roman times to the present day. The museum, a
non-profit-making charity run by volunteers, has one of the most
extensive and prestigious village collections in the south of
Ultra 2 loggers are used to monitor temp/RH in the main display
room and also in the museum stores. The main museum building is a
converted coach house containing the displays in two small rooms,
and the store for small, degradable items is a converted bedroom.
Because of the nature of the premises, it is vital that temperature and humidity
is regularly monitored to help ensure the collections are kept
in the correct conditions - particularly over the winter months
when the museum is closed and unoccupied.
The exhibits include photographs, maps, paintings, fabrics,
books and documents, wooden and metal tools, fossils, rocks, and
other artefacts. Many materials, such as photographs, documents and
fabric are particularly susceptible to decay. Leather and wooden
objects are at risk of mould and decay. Metallic objects such as
the tools, coins, medals, cutlery, trophies, etc, are likely to
corrode or develop a patina and would degrade if frequently
The building is built in Purbeck stone without a cavity wall.
The inner walls are unfaced stone which is permeable to moisture to
some extent; there is a stone tile roof without insulation, and no
double glazing. Storage heaters maintain low warmth throughout the
winter. Options for environmental controls in the museum store are
very limited, so it is vital that the loggers provide evidence that
relative humidity remain within acceptable limits.
Data is collected around every six months. The resulting charts
are available to the museum committee for assessing needs for
control equipment and to confirm the collection is safe, and to the
museum authorities to ensure accreditation standards are not
breached. With the data provided, it became apparent that humidity
levels in the past were too high and that building work was needed
to reduce water ingress at the rear, and that a dehumidifier was
essential in the old coach house.
Nick Goulding, Assistant Curator comments, "We chose Tinytags
partly on the recommendation of experts within the Museums Advisory
Service. They were compact and very unobtrusive, cheap to run and
maintain, and because of the long battery life they could be left
for long periods without attention. Ease of use was a major concern
for our non-technical volunteer staff - set-up and download of data
was fairly easy and presented in an easy to comprehend and flexible
format. It satisfies all the requirements of our museum committee
and the museum authorities. The Tinytags have proved to be totally
reliable and flexible in operation, and we have been particularly
pleased with the back-up service provided- fast, efficient and very
supportive of our small museum."