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Mould Growth on Library Materials Stored in Compactus-Type Shelving Units

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Sick Building Syndrome


Compactus-type shelving is widely used for the storage of items in libraries, archives and museums, since it allows for a more efficient use of space, provides adequate protection against dust, and encourages stable climate conditions with reduced exchange of humidity on outer surfaces. These characteristics represent an undoubted advantage from the point of view of preservation and conservation of materials, but they can also represent a risk when such shelving is used in storage environments which cannot guarantee constant climatic parameters. In many real-life situations, compactus shelving has been found to be the cause of degradation phenomena which could not be explained by the environmental parameters at a macro-level, but instead (mainly) by micro-environmental situations that were created by a number of chance factors. During the course of several investigations carried out in libraries and archives, different causes were found to lead to the same results, namely the development, within compactus shelving units, of moulds on volumes’ bindings, especially when these were made of leather, parchment or cotton fibres. In this chapter the problem of moulds developing within compactus shelving units is presented and discussed, and several possible solutions are evaluated for their potential efficacy.

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Correspondence to Flavia Pinzari .

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Pinzari, F., Montanari, M. (2011). Mould Growth on Library Materials Stored in Compactus-Type Shelving Units. In: Abdul-Wahab, S. (eds) Sick Building Syndrome. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-17918-1

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