Assessing risks to library collections

The Canadian Conservation Institute has an excellent section on developing a preservation framework for your library (aussi disponible ici en français).

Nine major types of threat to collections are identified: Direct Physical Forces; Thieves, Vandals, Displacers; Fire; Water; Pests; Contaminants; Radiation; Incorrect temperature; Incorrect relative humidity (RH).

You can then construct a matrix detailing how you will avoid, block, detect, respond and recover or treat any incidence of each threat:

Threats matrix

The CCI has the following subdivisions for each threat:

  • Agents of deterioration
  • Building features – storage
  • Building features – display
  • Building features – transit
  • Portable fittings – storage
  • Portable fittings – display
  • Portable fittings – transit
  • Procedures

On their site, you can click on any of the cells in the matrix and read them individually, or purchase the whole diagram as a poster.


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