The Collections Storage Infrastructure Project (CSIP) environmental standards document defines tiered environmental parameters for the storage and display of Natural History Museum (NHM) collections. These parameters represent the expected environmental conditions that should be maintained around collections on display (Appendix 1), both inside the Natural History Museum property and when on loan to a borrowing institution and in storage and during transportation The document also lays out recommended guidelines for materials and storage furniture (Appendix 3) to be used in storage and display of museum objects.
The Tiered standards represent progressively increasing risk of damage to collections. Outside the Bronze standard, deterioration will occur on the entire range of materials stored at the NHM . Specimens on display in environmental conditions outside the Bronze standard are not deemed to be of critical priority for conservation and will be deemed disposable with limited life. For critical or sensitive collections it is expected that the environment will be controlled more precisely to ensure improved control (precise levels of control for sensitive specimens are not defined in this document). For such specimens or as defined in 1.1, mechanical or passive, room, cabinet or specimen level control measures will be put in place. Reference should be made throughout this document on advice from the collections trust on security of objects, display cases and buildings.
The Museum recognises the PAS 198:2012 and PAS 197:2009, Bizot Group recommendations and the NMDC recommendations (2009). The NHM has taken note of the need to reduce carbon foot print, improve sustainability and where possible relax environmental standards in line with NMDC recommendations (2009) and the museum’s ISO 140001 certification.
Where specimens as defined in 1.1 are already stable in the open Gallery space or equivalent and no further deterioration will occur then recommendations by the National Museums Directors conference (NMDC, 2009) and Bizot Group 2012 which equate to the Bronze CSIP environmental standard. To accommodate the range of uses and sensitivity of materials (given current environmental storage conditions), the museum has agreed to implement a policy of tiered environmental standards appropriate to the secure maintenance and stability of the collections.