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Risk-analysis: degradation processes

Generation of information to assist in risk scenarios and the determination of the magnitude of risk for degradation processes.

In order to determine the magnitude of risk for degradation processes, a prognosis is required of the deterioration over time. This demands insight into the rate at which processes progress and the extent of changes and damage they cause. 

Degradation of negatives by exposure to incorrect temperature.

Degradation of negatives by exposure to incorrect temperature.

In various sub-projects special attention was paid to the damage factors of climate, light, air (dust) and physical forces (vibrations) with the collection of data for degradation processes.


In 2009, following on from this publication, new guidelines on the museum climate appeared in the publication Klimaatwerk[Climate Work]. The information sheet, Meten van het binnenklimaat Waarom, waar? [Measuring the indoor climate Why, where?] on the measuring and monitoring of relative humidity and temperature and interpretation of measurement results, follow on from Klimaatwerk. The primary knowledge transfer took place in 2010 and 2011 through presentations, symposia by the Climate Network, the workshop 'Climate', the master class 'Managing Indoor Climate Risks' and publications in professional journals. Moreover, under the NWO programme Science4Arts, four years of extensive research has been carried out into the acceptable variations in relative humidity for decorated wooden panels.


Assistance for achieving optimal lighting and visibility with minimal risk is offered by the manual Verlichting in musea en expositieruimten[Lighting in museums and exhibition spaces] (2008), in which the new guidelines for museum lighting, Lichtlijnen [Light Lines] (2005), have been incorporated. Knowledge transfer took place through a workshop on museum lighting in Naturalis (2009), lectures at the Reinwardt Academy, various presentations in the Netherlands and abroad, a symposium on LED lighting in museums in collaboration with the Institute of Lighting Design and Dutch lighting designers, and through tailor-made consultations.


Development of a method to determine the rate of dust deposition, tested in collaboration with The Hague Historical Museum and the National Museum of Ethnology.


The effect of vibrations on paintings and pastels were investigated in the laboratory. In collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam research was carried out into the feasibility of reducing pile-driving vibrations to an acceptable level for fragile objects.


Projects concerned with the deterioration of paper, such as ink corrosion and the effects of air pollution, are carried out under the Metamorfoze programme, a joint research project of the National Library and the National Archives.