Accurate RH control helps preserve The Wallace Collection

HygroMatik, humidifiers
HygroMatik steam humidifiers have been installed to maintain a stable relative humidity to protect The Wallace Collection, which includes ‘The Laughing Cavalier’

Helping to provide a high-quality environment for The Wallace Collection at Hereford House in Manchester Square, London, are 35 steam humidifiers from HygroMatik. These Compact units with Superflush are also serviced regularly. A constant room temperature of 20°C is maintained for the 5600 archived artefacts of the collection, with a relative humidity of 55% ±5%.

Many artefacts — including textiles, paintings and books — are hygroscopic and react to small changes in humidity levels. The purpose of humidification in a museum is to preserve the artefacts. Without it, pictures such as Frans Hais’s ‘The Laughing Cavalier’ would deteriorate.

David Wallington, lead engineer at The Wallace Collection, explains, ‘My job is to ensure that all services are working efficiently to preserve the quality of the artefacts. One of the most crucial elements of this process is to maintain and service the 35 humidifiers located in the plant rooms on each gallery floor.

‘The maintenance cycle involves the electrodes being replaced when needed and the cylinders being hygienically cleaned and re-used. Hygromatik’s products are very simple to use, reliable and easily accessible. All the parts can be easily and speedily replace, which is essential for a specialist environment such as The Wallace Collection.

For more information on this story, click here: May 2012, 136
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