Jean Nelson

About Jean Nelson

Jean Cardinale Nelson is the head of the UConn Libraries' Public Programming, Marketing & Communications efforts.

Paws to Relax is Back

It sure is a tough Monday. Finals, stress, rain, icy sidewalks, and the greyest of all grey days. BUT – have no fear – the puppers are here! Today starts our finals week Paws to Relax program on the first floor of Homer Babbidge. Each day from 1-5 come say hi to a stress relief dog. A little drool and some dog hair on you goes a long way to making it all better.

Paws to Relax Image for the schedule - December 9-13, 2019

Monday, December 9
1-2pm – Colleen and Charlie (Cocker Spaniel)
2-3pm – Terri and Brody (Shetland Sheepdog)
3-4pm – Mary Beth and Witness (Golden Doodle)
4-5pm – Jeanne and Bennie (Shih-Tzu)

Tuesday, December 10
1-2pm – Alexandra and Ambrosia (Greyhound)
2-3pm – Laurel and Wrigley (Newfoundland)
3-4pm – Judith and Bella (Pug)
4-5pm – Octayvia and Boo (Golden Retriever)

Wednesday, December 11
1-2pm – Cheryl and Cassie (Golden Retriever)
2-3pm – Diane and Meka (Keeshond)
3-4pm – Laurel and Wrigley (Newfoundland)
4-5pm – Ted and Luke (Golden Retriever)

Thursday, December 12
1-2pm – Terri and Brody (Shetland Sheepdog)
2-3pm – Sandy and Andy (Golden Retriever)
3-4pm – Rebecca and Hunter (Shetland Sheepdog)
4-5pm – Sue and Jessie (Golden Retriever)

Friday, December 13
1-2pm – Betsy and Finn (Golden Doodle)
2-3pm – Peter and Grant (Golden Retriever)
3-4pm – Karen and Shadow (Cocker Spaniel)
4-5pm – Laura and Summit (English Lab)

As always, times and puppers may be subject to change. Super huge thanks to Carolyn Mills for organizing and for all the dogs and humans joining us this week. You all are the best.

Guidance on Predatory Publishing

Authored by the members of the UConn Library Scholarly Communication Coordinating Group

While many scholarly journal publishers offer high quality services, some publishers engage in what are considered predatory practices. Open access journals sometimes collect fees from authors called “article processing charges” or APCs. The fees are intended to cover publishing costs formerly covered by journal subscriptions and are often legitimate. However, some publishers project a deceptive profile of respectability while providing poor service and poor outcomes to authors (such as inadequate peer review or editorial services.) These publishers view the APCs collected from authors as primarily a revenue-generating opportunity.  Examples of predatory practices to be aware of can include:

  • Deceptive advertising regarding rigorous peer review when in fact articles are approved for publication in a matter of weeks or even days
  • Lack of clarity on author payments until acceptance of articles and unwillingness to let authors withdraw once the charges were made clear
  • Misrepresenting scientists as reviewers and editors who never agreed to do so
  • Fabricating lists of unsubstantiated “impact factors”
  • False claims that journals are indexed in literature databases
  • False promotion of scholarly conferences listing known scientists as organizers or participants who had not, in fact, agreed to participate
  • Misleading journal titles similar to that of  well-known prestigious journals

A recent example of a large predatory publisher with a judgment entered against them in the US legal system is that of Omics International

Authors attempting to avoid predatory journals and trying to find quality journals to publish in can consult the UConn Library guide Evaluating Journal Quality for assistance and ideas or Predatory Journals & Conferences: Guide to Publisher & Organization Evaluation designed to for Health Sciences professionals.

Evaluating Scholarly Journals Infographic by Allen Press via FrontMatter (CC BY ND NC 3.0)
Evaluating Scholarly Journals Infographic by Allen Press via FrontMatter (CC BY ND NC 3.0)

Library now purchasing faculty-authored books

Thanks to the generosity of private donors, the Library will be showcasing UConn produced research through the newly launched Faculty-Authored Books Program.

“The enormity of research being produced here at UConn is astounding, and we are in the unique position to cross disciplines and celebrate faculty work while strengthening our collections.”

Sparked by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Book Program last spring, Dean Langley sought to continue to engage with faculty in a meaningful way, by highlighting their work and making it widely available for students, faculty, staff and the larger community. “The enormity of research being produced here at UConn is astounding, and we are in the unique position to cross disciplines and celebrate faculty work while strengthening our collections,” noted Langley.

To kick-off the program, the Library has purchased books from 2017 to present from current full-time faculty and emeriti from all campuses, including Health and Law, and has developed workflows to purchase future publications moving forward. The process will depend largely on the data created by publishers, with added eyes from our subject specialists. There will also be an opportunity for faculty to request their book be purchased via a webform.

Creativity and Humor Book Cover, edited by Sarah Luria John Baer James Kaufman

Faculty-Authored Books Program Reception

Wednesday, October 30th, 4-5pm
Homer Babbidge Library, Heritage Room

Books costing more than $250, books with only chapters contributed by UConn faculty, and textbooks and conference proceedings will not be automatically purchased. “Our intention is not to close the door on anyone,” noted Michael Rodriguez, Collections Strategist. “We are happy to look at titles not part of our standard purchase parameters on a case-by-case basis, honoring the goals of the program while ensuring we are able to sustain it with the available funding.”

Before being integrated into the research collections, faculty-authored books will be shelved together on the new books shelf in the Homer Babbidge Library. They will offer a visual reminder of the depth and breadth of research produced at UConn. They are also easily searchable via the library catalog.

A public reception is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30th from 4-5pm in the Heritage Room on the fourth floor of Homer Babbidge Library.

Funding for the program is made possible through foundation gifts and donations of books from faculty. Learn more about the program and how you can donate.

Celebrate Open Access Week 2019

Open For Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge, Open Access Week October 21-27.

Welcome to Open Access Week 2019! International Open Access Week, led by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research.

Each year the Library marks Open Access Week by celebrating the ways we engage with the University to help understand and incorporate Open into classes. This year we’d like to take a moment to wish our OER guru Kathy Labadorf the best in her retirement. Kathy was UConn’s first Open Educational Resources Librarian and the point of contact for many early adopters on campus. Her shoes will be difficult to fill and we’d like to share the words of her supervisor Kate Fuller, Head of Reference & Curriculum Services . “Kathy has become a passionate advocate for making higher education more affordable through her work with open and affordable texts, working closely with student groups and faculty alike and creating a rewarding and sustainable program that will continue to enable more students to achieve great things long into the future. Her intellect, creativity, and boundless energy has been a tremendous asset to the Library and the University, and she will be missed.” Before she retired, Kathy recorded this video for the GoOpen Initiative which talks about some of the initiatives here at UConn. We look forward to continuing her good work.

This past year we hired Lauren Slingluff, Associate Dean to the staff of the Library. Lauren came to UConn in 2019 with significant experience in OER from her work at Wheaton College in Norton, MA. In her own words, “I view OER as transformational from a social justice and equity standpoint in terms of the positive impact it has on students by removing invisible hurdles in the classroom.” Lauren was selected, along with Kate Fuller, to be members of the Connecticut OER Coordinating Council, a movement of teachers, professors, students, leaders, and policy makers working to expand the use of OER across Connecticut. Lauren joined Kathy for the GoOpen Initiative and recorded two videos we encourage you to watch. Affordability and equity of OER and Faculty Flexibility.

We continue to work with faculty and researchers on publishing their work in UConn’s institutional repository, OpenCommons@UConn. Since 2005, there have been over 5.1 million downloads from 234 countries. As of today, the top article downloaded (157,327 times) is the 1990 publication, “Gender and Leadership Style: A Meta-Analysis” by Alice Eagly, formerly of Purdue University and now of Northwestern University and Blair T. Johnson, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UConn.

And when you think Open, think beyond textbooks. The Library has an incredible research collection that can also be used in the classroom. Did you know that Archives & Special Collections has over 1,200 open primary source materials over a wide range of topics such as human rights, children’s literature, CT businesses and a robust collection of papers of literary giants like Charles Olson and Edwin Way Teale to name only a few? Check it out at archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu. The Archives also supports Reveal Digital’s Independent Voices, an open access digital collection of alternative newspapers, magazines, and journals.

Author Workshop Series: Creative Commons Licence Workshop. Tuesday, November 5, Noon-1pm, Babbidge Library, Instruction Room 1136. Do you want your writing to be more widely accessible? Do you want to decide how others may use your work? Creative Commons licenses allow you to license your writing in simple, standardized ways. Register at workshops.lib.uconn.edu

As part of our year-round efforts, we welcome you to join us for our workshop series’ including learning how you can utilize Creative Commons Licensing. The workshop will be held on November 5 from 12:00-1:00 in Babbidge Library. Other workshops include learning how to negotiate to keep your copyright, managing your research, and for engineers, a look at the open tools available for your work. You can learn more and register for them at workshops.lib.uconn.edu

There are a few great resources for you to look through to learn more about incorporating Open and a great place to start is our Find Open Guide. We also have a few great links on Open Access Scholarship for you to consider:
Open Library of the Humanities
SCOAP3 initiative
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
Open Textbook Library

Finally, this week we will also be joined by the students in UConnPIRG who will be in Homer Babbidge on Wednesday from 10:30-1:30 talking with fellow students about their grassroots efforts on campus and the importance of being involved.

I Support Open Access, UConn Library, Button image

We encourage you to also stop by Plaza in Homer Babbidge Library this week and pick up a sticker or a pin announcing your support of Open.

Newly Acquired Resources at the UConn Library

The UConn Library recently acquired permanent online access to 7 million scholarly journal articles, 3600 books, and 50 million pages of primary sources in all subjects. Unlimited access and downloads are permitted. Everything is available to all UConn, including Health and Law. 

Scholarly journals 

JSTOR Journals, Collections 12-15

JSTOR Journals, Collections 12-15

Purchase of these four JSTOR Arts & Sciences collections gives UConn a vastly expanded corpus of hundreds of new scholarly ejournals in diverse subjects, mostly starting with volume one and missing only the most recent issues. We gain access on JSTOR to these issues 2-6 years after publication. See JSTOR for title lists.

Sage Journals Deep Backfile

Sage Journals Deep Backfile

Purchase gives us the full corpus of 607 Sage-published ejournals from first volume and issue through 1998. This backfile encompasses all subjects and is especially strong in psychology, education, and the medical and health sciences. Download title list in Excel format.

American Institute of Physics (AIP) Complete Journals Archive

Purchase gives us the full text of 20 physics and related science ejournals from volume 1 to present, 1929-1998. The Archive includes 403,000 articles. See AIP for the title list


Scholarly ebooks 

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) Complete Online

164,000 pages of biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world’s most influential authors, filmmakers, and other creatives. Includes the Dictionary of Literary Biography (vols. 1-348), DLB Documentary Series (50 vols.), and DLB Yearbook (23 vols.). 

Elgar Economics Ebooks 2018 & 2019

Over one hundred monographs, handbooks, and research reviews in the field of economics. 

Harvard University Press Ebooks 2000-2015 

More than 800 titles published by Harvard University Press across all subjects. Includes hundreds of titles and course-adopted texts not otherwise available online. 

New Pauly Encyclopedia of the Ancient World

The English edition of the authoritative Der Neue Pauly, a key resource for classical studies. 

Oxford University Press Classical Studies 2010-2015

285 classical studies monographs published by Oxford University Press. 

Springer Computer Science 2015 & 2016 

All Springer computer science ebooks published in 2015 and 2016, including hundreds of monographs, proceedings, and other titles, including Lecture Notes in Computer Science. We now have continuous access to Lecture Notes in Computer Science from 2005 to present. 

Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE) Online

This German-language theological encyclopedia comprises 36 volumes and 2500 articles published 1976–2004. Complements Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception


Historical newspapers 

African American Historical Newspapers, 1911-2005

Cross-searchable full-text facsimile editions of the Atlanta Daily World‎ (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American‎ (1893-1988), Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), Chicago Defender (1910-1975), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News‎ (1922-1993), Norfolk Journal & Guide (1921-2003), Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002). 

African American Historical Serials, 1829-1922

Full-text facsimile editions of 170 unique titles and 60,000 pages of periodicals, reports, and annuals from African American religious and social service organizations. Title list

American Indian Newspapers, 1828-2016

Cross-searchable full-text facsimile editions of 40 newspapers and magazines from North American indigenous communities, digitized in collaboration with tribal councils. 

The Atlantic Magazine Archive, 1857-2014

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of The Atlantic from its first issue in 1857 through 2014. 

The Economist Historical Archive, 1843-2015

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of The Economist. Containing every issue since its launch in 1843. 

Fortune Magazine Archive, 1930-2000

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of Fortune from its first issue in 1930 through 2000.  

Financial Times Historical Archive, 1888-2016

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the FT (London edition) from its first issue in 1888 through 2016

The Independent Digital Archive, 1986-2012

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the Independent (London edition) from its first issue in 1986 through 2012. 

Life Magazine Archive, 1936-2000

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of Life from its first issue in 1936 through 2000. 

New York Tribune / Herald Tribune Historical Newspaper, 1841-1962

Complete, fully searchable, facsimile edition of this New York City newspaper from its first issue in 1841 through 1962. 

The Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822-2016

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the Sunday Times from its first issue in 1822 through 2016. 

The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2016

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the Telegraph (both daily and Sunday editions) from its first issue through 2016.


Primary sources 

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Papers, 1912-1990

Parts 1 and 2 of the ACLU’s digitized archives, including newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, court files, memorandums, telegrams, minutes, and legal case records. 

American Fiction, 1774-1920

Contains the full text of more than 17,500 works of prose fiction written by Americans from the Revolution through World War I.

Archives of Gender and Sexuality Part 3

Expanding on the LGBTQIA-focused Parts 1 and 2, which were previously purchased by UConn, Part 3 hosts over 1 million pages of classic books and primary sources documenting sex and sexuality from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries. 

Early European Books Collections 1-12

Complete facsimile images of tens of thousands of books and rare incunabula printed across Europe, mostly in non-English languages, from 1450 to 1701. Complements Early English Books Online, which was previously purchased by the UConn Library. 

Making of the Modern World Part 2, 1851-1914

1.2 million pages of primary sources documenting the global shift to modernity. UConn had previously purchased Part 1: The Goldsmiths’-Kress Collection (1450-1850). 

NAACP Papers: The NAACP’s Major Campaigns–Legal Department Files, 1956-1972

Full text of the working case files of the NAACP legal department. Containing over 600 cases from 34 states and the District of Columbia, these files document the NAACP’s campaign to bring about desegregation throughout the United States. Purchase courtesy of UConn Law. 

Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive Parts 1-4, 1490-1896

5 million cross-searchable pages sourced globally from books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, legal documents, court records, monographs, manuscripts, and maps. 

State Papers Online Collections I-IX (Complete), 1509-1714

3 million pages of facsimile images of state papers that document early modern British and European history.


Research databases 

Archive Finder

Current directory of 5750 repositories and 206,000 collections of primary source materials housed across the United States and the United Kingdom. 

CAB Abstracts Archive, 1913-1972

1.8 million records on publications in agriculture, veterinary sciences, nutrition, the environment, and applied life sciences. Cross-searchable with UConn Library’s subscription access to CAB Abstracts 1972-present, also through the EBSCO vendor platform. 

Theatre & Drama Premium | Theatre & Drama Premium – Literature Collection

Permanent access to Alexander Street Press multimedia collections Black Drama, BroadwayHD, Contemporary World Drama, Drama Texts (including Asian American Drama), Performance Design Archive, Royal Shakespeare Company, Twentieth Century Drama, Theatre in Context, and Theatre in Performance (including Theatre in Video Parts I and II). Within these collections are 13,500 full-text plays, 150,000 pages of other materials, 300 audio plays from L.A. Theatre Works, and 750 hours of filmed stage performances and documentaries.

UConn Library joins the National Digital Stewardship Alliance

NDSA Logo

The UConn Library has joined the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a consortium of partner organizations committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. Hosted by the Digital Library Federation, more than 250 members from academic institutions as well as government and nonprofit organizations, commercial businesses, and professional associations work together to preserve access to our national digital heritage.

Preserving our heritage is one of the three foundational pillars of the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) – to connect, preserve, and share. In collaboration with the Connecticut State Library, the CTDA provides access to UConn’s history and ensures the future of Connecticut’s cultural memory. The leadership and resources the UConn Library has committed to the CTDA since 2013 has resulted in over 1.45 million objects being preserved digitally from over 40 state-wide cultural institutions currently participating, and growing daily. Recently the CTDA became a Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America, expanding access to those resources on a national platform. The continued efforts placed on proper preservation is an integral part of the CTDA and why we are pleased to be a part of the NDSA. Our participation gives us the opportunity to work and grow with members of the national community to engage in stewardship of these valuable resources.

Related story

CTDA becomes Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America

The Chicken of Tomorrow and the Land Grant University


The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) connects people with the rich history found in the public institutions across America. As you may remember, the UConn Library, which runs the Connecticut Digital Archive, officially joined the DPLA as a hub for CT history in March. This is another article from Greg Colati on the kind of information you can find now that we have access through this new platform.

Written by Greg Colati, Assistant University Librarian for University Archives, Special Collections & Digital Curation

Winner of Chicken of Tomorrow Contest. (1946) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Created originally by the Morrill Act of 1861, a designated college in each state was given grants of Federal land to sell that would then be used to support practical education in agriculture and industrial arts. Although not the original Land Grant college in Connecticut (that’s another story that you can learn about here), Storrs Agricultural College was given Connecticut’s Land Grant designation in 1893, a little more than 10 years after its founding in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School.

Land grant universities take their practical educational and extension programs seriously, and through the 19th and 20th centuries they led the transformation of American agriculture from traditional to more scientific approaches, often running contests and competitions to encourage adoption of modern methods. “Chicken of Tomorrow” contests held throughout the country in the mid-twentieth century encouraged farmers to use scientific methods to breed larger and more meaty chickens. Contrary to what you might expect from the name of the competition, at the UConn the chickens were typically displayed butchered, plucked, and ready for cooking.

Chicken of Tomorrow Contest (Colonial Poultry House), University of Georgia. (1951). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Similarly unlucky chickens were featured at the University of Georgia’s contest held at the Colonial Poultry House at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in the 1950s. And, although the chickens held by these two boys in North Logan, Utah were definitely alive, they probably met the same fate as their Eastern cousins soon after this photo was taken.

Dennis Funk, Sam King, and Larry Nyman (Chicken of Tomorrow), North Local City Library. (1910-1929) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Arranged on tables with proud farmers and their families posed behind them, or serious student judges contemplating quality, photos of the Chicken of Tomorrow contests tend to elicit laughter from modern observers. But in their time, they were an important part of a national modernization of agriculture that fed a hungry and growing nation in the post-WWII era and illustrated the optimism and faith in science and technology that was a hallmark of that era.

Paws to Relax – Spring 2019

Paws-to-Relax returns for finals! All dogs will be on Level 1 in Homer Babbidge so stop by for a study break and relieve some stress.

And THANK YOU to all the dogs and their handlers for taking time out of their days to come and visit, and to Carolyn Mills for organizing it all for us!

Monday, May 6
1:00-2:00 – Kathy and Kammi (Keeshond)
2:00-3:00 – Claudia & Tegan (Welsh Springer Spaniel)
3:00-4:00 – Lauren & Wrigley (Newfoundland)
4:00-5:00 – Jeanne & Benny (Shih-Tzu)

Tuesday, May 7
1:00-2:00 – Laura & Penny (Chihuahua Mix)
2:00-3:00 – Laura & Summit (English Lab)
3:00-4:00 – Diane & Meka (Keeshond)
4:00-5:00 – Ed & Sawyer (Golden Doodle)

Wednesday, May 8
1:00-2:00 – Lauren & Dream (Rottweiler)
2:00-3:00 – Sandy & Grant (Golden Retriever)
3:00-4:00 – Robyn & Bo (Golden Retriever)
4:00-5:00 – Octayvia & Boo (Golden Retriever)

Thursday, May 9
1:00-2:00 – Christine & Bo (Lab Mix)
2:00-3:00 – Peter & Andy (Golden Retriever)
3:00-4:00 – Rebecca & Hunter (Labradoodle)
4:00-5:00 – Mary Beth & Witness (Golden Doodle)

Friday, May 10
1:00-2:00 -Sandy & Nutmeg (Golden Retriever)
2:00-3:00pm – Karen & Shadow (Cocker Spaniel)
3:00-4:00pm – Colin & Fireball (Golden Retriever)
4:00-5:00pm – Cheryl & Cassie (Golden Retriever)

**We make every effort to keep the schedule, but you know, dogs can have crazy schedules and you never know when they need to be somewhere else…

Humidity: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

In honor of Preservation Week, our Special Collections Conservator, Natalie Granados is sharing some of the work she does to ensure that all of our collections are getting the care and maintenance they deserve.

Humidity: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

Written by Natalie Granados (@natartlie). Special Collections Conservator – Uconn Library.

How temperature and humidity work together to affect your paper-based objects is a topic that has been discussed and devoured by conservators since the 80s. Join me in this series covering common damages to paper and books such as handling, temperature, humidity, pests and pollution.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY
“How is humidity measured?” you may wonder. This is where the term Relative Humidity (RH) comes into play. RH refers to the amount of water vapor in the air, expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount the air could hold at the same temperature. When warm air is cooled, the RH goes up. When cold air is heated, the RH lowers.

Cellulose, as the raw material of paper, is hygroscopic. This means it responds to changes in relative humidity by expanding when humidity levels are high and contracting when they are low. Paper has an attraction to water since it contains water on its surface and within its chemical structure. Surface water is eliminated first when RH is low. Once this supply is exhausted, structural water is given up.

This action caused by low RH results in shrinkage, cracking and desiccation of paper and adhesives and flaking of photographic emulsions. Desiccated paper is more easily torn when handled. It must be noted, that structural water, unlike the surface kind, cannot be regained. Other damages caused by low RH include stiffening and flaking of adhesives and emulsions on photographs.

High humidity on the other hand, can lead to insect activity, delamination, bleeding of watercolors,distortions, adhesions of coated paper, ink transfer and mold growth. Mold stains and weakens paper and leather.

Similarly, to temperature, fluctuations in RH can also lead to damage. However, the damage occurs when various parts of an object respond at different rates. Composite objects such as books, photographs and paper adhered to stretchers, cloth or board, as well as material with partial constraints like repairs and mounts, among other objects are easy targets for fluctuating RH damage.

The Canadian Conservation Institute’s (CCI) Damage Caused by Incorrect Temperature and RH guide notes that the swelling and contraction of paper in response to humidity does not cause damage in and of itself. As previously mentioned, it is the fluctuation in addition to the presence of a secondary or tertiary incompatible material that leads to trouble.

SO, WHAT’S MY RELATIVE HUMIDITY GOAL?

The 2011 Specification for Environmental Condition for Cultural Collection released by the British Standards Institute describes that below 25% RH, the risk of physical damage increases rapidly and at 75% RH and above, the dimensional change due to each 5% rise in RH increases exponentially.

Now that that’s out of the way…
The recommended RH lies between 45-65% With an allowed fluctuation of ±5%. The safe RH boundary usually cited to prevent mold growth is below 65%, although 70% has also been cited. Photographic materials require an RH between 30% and 40%.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BOOKS AND PAPERS FROM HUMIDITY
Similarly to protect from extreme temperatures, storing your objects in an archival box, folder or envelope will provide a barrier from humidity fluctuations. If box making or purchasing archival boxes are not feasible, consider interleaving book pages with acid free tissue to slow down acid degradation which is what causes paper to be fragile, yellow and crack easily.

 

 

 

 

 

Should I be freaking out about the fluctuations in RH in my stacks?
The short answer is no.

Although the goal is to keep a steady RH between 45-65%, fluctuations are inevitable due to the change of seasons or a lack of means to invest in a sophisticated HVAC system.

In Stefan Michalski’s Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Relative Humidity “proofed” fluctuation is discussed. This is the largest fluctuation that the object has ever witnessed. The “proof” is in the pudding. What this means, is that any fluctuation smaller than the proofed will cause less damage than what has been caused in the past (if any at all). The good news is that even minor changes in spaces where fluctuations have occurred, will reduce the risk of damage to your collection.

Resources:

British Standards Institute (BSI). 2011. PAS 198:2011. Specification for environmental conditions for cultural collections.

Fahey, M.2002. The Care and Preservation of Documents and Works of Art on Paper. Michigan: The Henry Ford.

Fahey, M.2016. The Care and Preservation of Archival Materials. Michigan: The Henry Ford.

Grattan, D., and Michalski, S. 2015. Environmental Guidelines for Museums. Ontario:Canadian Conservation Institute (CC).

Library of Congress. The Deterioration and Preservation of Paper: Some Essential Facts.

Michalski, S. 2016. Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Relative Humidity. Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute (CC).

Michalski, S. 2016. Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Temperature. Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute (CC)

National Information Standards Organization (NISO).1995. NISO TR01-1995. Environmental Guidelines for the Storage of Paper Records.

National Parks Service (NPS). 2003. Part I: Museum Collections. Appendix J: Curatorial Care of Paper Objects.

National Parks Service (NPS). 2016. Part I: Museum Collections. Ch. 4: Museum Collections Environment.

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC). The Environment. 2.1 Temperature, Relative Humidity, Light, and Air Quality: Basic Guidelines for Preservation.

Temperature: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

In honor of Preservation Week, our Special Collections Conservator, Natalie Granados is sharing some of the work she does to ensure that all of our collections are getting the care and maintenance they deserve.

Temperature: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

Written by Natalie Granados (@natartlie). Special Collections Conservator – UConn Library.

On this post we’ll discuss temperature and how it affects your collection material. Knowing what causes common problems in books and paper will help you protect your treasures. Join me in this series covering common damages to paper and books such as handling, temperature, humidity, pests and pollution.

LET’S START WITH SOME SAD FACTS:It must be noted that the quality of the paper itself can be one of its causes of deterioration. Inherently acidic pulp, acidic inks, bleaching and unstable sizing all speed up degradation. Paper that presents these characteristics benefits from cold storage to slow down the chemical process causing the decay.

CHEMICAL DAMAGE
The unseen changes within paper is what concerns conservators. Hydrolysis and oxidation being the big bad wolves in this scenario.

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction between a substance and water, resulting in the breakdown of the original substance and the formation of one or more new substances. In paper, acid hydrolysis is a continuous process that decreases flexibility and increases the susceptibility to damage of the object. Because the activity itself creates acid, the damage will increase as the process progresses.

Oxidation is a reaction between a substance and oxygen, resulting in physical breakdown. It can be caused by light, heat or pollutants and it leads to discoloration (yellowing) of paper.

TEMPERATURE
Library and archive materials respond to temperature by expanding in heat and contracting in cold. Heat accelerates damage, causes permanent distortion, cracking, change of sheen and melting of adhesives and paint. In addition, insects reproduce faster and eat more at higher temperatures.

Alas, very cold temperatures are not any better. These can make paper liable to break easily, crack or flake. Extreme variations can also be a problem. Extremes that occur faster than the paper’s rate of adjustment can lead to cockling, wrinkling, and planar distortions as well as cracking of emulsions on photograph.

GOT IT. NOW WHAT TEMPERATURE PARAMETERS SHOULD I BE LOOKING AT?
Glad you asked, the recommended temperature for spaces where human comfort is a factor is between 60-77°F. For storage of paper records with only occasional retrieval,a constant temperature within the range from deep freeze to about 64°F would be suitable as per the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Environmental Guidelines for The Storage of Paper Records. For film and color photographic material, a suggested temperature of 35°F or below has been stated.