University College London aims to evaluate the quality of its displays and storage facilities and the information gleaned from the Tinytag Data Loggers is used to advise collections managers, curators and Estates and Facilities staff about conditions in these areas so that improvements can be made as needed.
Long-term monitoring of the collection spaces also follows the necessary museum best practice guidelines, for example, for the UK national accreditation scheme.
“I chose Tinytags because of their reputation for reliability,” says Susi Pancaldo, senior conservator for UCL’s Public and Cultural Engagement Department. “Some of our Tinytags are moved about a lot, so robustness is important. They are also easy to find – especially the bright yellow units – they have a long battery life, and the software is easy to use.”
A total of 44 Tinytag Ultra 2 and View 2 data loggers monitor relative humidity and temperature conditions, some alongside a telemetric monitoring system. Tinytags are deployed in smaller collections for regular, long term monitoring, and also on an ad-hoc basis where required to help solve localised environmental issues.
In areas where conditions are known to be quite stable, the data is examined quarterly and/or annually. In problem areas, the data is checked more frequently. Environmental summaries are prepared annually so managers can evaluate the overall situation. In addition, the Department supports teaching in the Institute of Archaeology’s Museums Studies and Conservation training programmes, and data sets are often downloaded for specific student projects.
UCL also has a wide variety of other teaching and research collections, including anthropology, archaeology, medical sciences, engineering and geology.