Archival documents and prized collections need low temperatures and strictly regulated humidity to maintain their integrity. Even today, it’s something that museums and collectors around the world struggle with. Further complicating the issue of regulating storage is the fact that there isn’t one set of conditions that suits all types of collections. Storing film and negatives is much different than storing archeological finds or paper records. As such, it can be difficult for collectors and archivists to find a way to monitor their collections.
Why do different collections need different storage conditions?
One of the biggest reasons different types of collections have different storage needs is simply because they’re made of different materials. In humid conditions, paper will lose its integrity and can grow molds or even rot. Likewise, if the environment is too dry, the paper will become fragile, and nearly impossible to handle without crumbling. For many archeological items, the ideal storage conditions are more similar to those in which they were discovered. If they were discovered in conditions that aren’t ideal, archivists have to slowly adjust the storage environment to prevent damage.
For example, photographs are best stored in cool conditions, below 75℉, and in low to moderate humidity ranging from above 15% up to 65%. However, paleontological items have much stricter requirements, and need temperatures that range from 59℉ to 77℉, with an even smaller humidity range: from 45-55%.
How to Monitor Any Type of Collection
Many sensors are designed to hone in on a very specific temperature or humidity range. The worst case scenario is that you’re using the classic thermometer and hygrometer to monitor your collection. While these are fairly reliable, accurate measurement tools, they need some oversight to be useful. That means that you need someone physically present to check them and make sure you have the appropriate environment for your collection.
So what can you do?
Use a smarter, more accurate, and more reliable sensor: the iMatrix Neo. This little sensor does everything you want, and some things you didn’t even know you need. Do you need to store items in extreme environments? The Neo can definitely handle it. It measures temperatures from as low as -40℉ to as high as 158℉. It can read any level of humidity too, from 0% up to a full 100% relative humidity.
Unlike many environmental sensors and monitoring systems today, the Neo is reading the environment near constantly. Even many of the most advanced sensors monitor every three to five minutes, at best. Not the Neo. This sensor takes readings every single minute, so you never miss a point of data.
The Neo is dynamic, powers itself for up to three years, and will store logs for up to a month even without any wireless internet connection. When you connect it to one of our wireless gateways, the Neo uploads readings to the iMatrix Cloud system every minute. You can then access minute to minute updates of your data remotely, from the Cloud system or the iMatrix smartphone app.
No matter what your collections include, you can be confident the Neo has them covered. It’ll even send you alerts based on the temperature and humidity ranges you specify.
- Comes in wired and wireless options
- Self powered for up to three years
- Sends custom tailored alerts
- Suitable for monitoring any collection type or material
- Access minute by minute reports via the iMatrix Cloud or app
- Long range wireless connection (up to 100m)
- Measures temperature and humidity simultaneously
- Quick, easy installation takes only moments