Steam Engine at the Western Development Museum - Moose Jaw

10 Agents of Deterioration

Posted in Collections by Kathleen Watkin on April 29th, 2013

What is this thing called the 10 Agents of Deterioration? How does it affect my museum?

The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), who identified the 10 Agents of Deterioration, is a Special Operating Agency of the Department of Canadian Heritage.  Created in 1972, it works to “promote the proper care and preservation of Canada’s cultural heritage and to advance the practice, science, and technology of conservation”.  Those that work at CCI complete research, workshops, treatments, preventative conservation, and provide advice for Canada’s heritage institutions.  In short, CCI does fantastic work for us!  Check out their website ! It is a wealth of information. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

CCI has identified 10 factors that play a role in making our collections disappear.  If we are aware and understand what these 10 factors are, we can then do something about them.

Some small friends came visiting

The 10 Agents of Deterioration are:

  ·      Physical Forces

  ·      Water

  ·      Incorrect Temperature

  ·      Incorrect Relative Humidity

  ·      Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared

  ·      Pollutants                                                              

  ·      Pests                                                    

  ·      Fire

  ·      Dissociation

  ·      Thieves and Vandals

Over the next little while, I will be writing an overview of each of these 10 Agents of Deterioration. I have linked all of them right to the CCI website if you want to check out what they are in advance.

Thoughts? Comments? Let us know in the space below.

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