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Tinytag Data loggers play key role in book conservation

A Tinytag data logger monitoring temperature and humidity is being used to help with the care and preservation of books.

Monitoring temperature and humidity is essential in the storage and conservation of rare and valuable books. Data loggers help ensure that they are stored in the correct environmental conditions.

Tinytag temperature and humidity data logger used for book care, preservation and conservation

Temple Bookbinders, located in Headington, Oxford, bind, restore and conserve books and also have a rare books shop on site. The environmental conditions in which the books are kept, and to which they are exposed, have a direct impact on the rate of degradation of the materials which make them up. The company is using a Tinytag Ultra temp/RH logger in various locations around the building to help assess the conditions, and to keep track of the impact of any changes and improvements that are made to the surroundings.

For example, the logger has been used for a three month placement in the safe where the most precious books are kept. In this way the Company can ensure that the books on site are kept in the best conditions possible.

By using the data logger, the Company aims to achieve a minimum of very sudden changes in the temperature and humidity of the areas in which the books are kept. Paper, leather and vellum are all hygroscopic materials - so as the relative humidity of a room changes they absorb or release water. This repeated movement can cause damage, so the aim is to minimise how often it happens - and when it does happen to endeavour to make the changes happen gradually rather than suddenly. By looking at the readings from the data logger, the Company can implement changes to make the environmental conditions as consistent as is possible.

Clare Goulbourn is the paper conservator for the company and has worked with Tinytags for a number of years. Clare comments, "Tinytags are easy to use - both the hardware and the software. We are a relatively small company, so installing expensive equipment to keep the temperature and humidity within consistent values is not an option. But by using the data logger we can make small but important changes to our setup - such as shutting doors, storing books in the room with the most consistent readings, and turning off specific heat sources."

Clare adds, "The customer service has always been excellent - when I have contacted Gemini Data Loggers people have been friendly and very quick to help."

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