Let's talk about Moisture

Earlier this week, I stated that moisture can be dangerous for cultural heritage materials.

High humidity promotes mold growth, corrosion, and degradation, while excessive dryness can cause drying and cracking. Fluctuations between extremes can cause warping, buckling and flaking.

Here are two examples of damaged found within the Lucille Hasell Culp Collection. Excess moisture weakened and degraded the paper. The weakened paper grew mold which attracted insects. Insects left behind fecal and urine droppings which further damaged the paper. The damage cannot be totally undone.

Benjamin Franklin was correct: "A Stitch in Time Saves Nine." It is better to keep inappropriate levels of moisture away from precious family treasures than to try to repair damage that is easily preventable.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
 
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.