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The role of science in the management of the UK’s heritage

This report is the first of three which provide the ‘evidence-base’ for a UK wide strategy for heritage science, covering both movable and immovable heritage. The formulation of a strategyis one of the recommendations to come from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into science and heritage held in 2006.

The report summarises the range of heritage assets present in the UK in museums, galleries, libraries, archives, the built historic environment and archaeological sites. It reviews the principal deterioration mechanisms that affect these assets, and the ways that these threats can be reduced and managed.

Through wide-ranging consultation and drawing on past and existing strategies, gaps in knowledge are identified which, if addressed, would improve the current and future management of the UK’s heritage.

These are categorised into three themes within the report:

  • understanding material behaviour
  • understanding environments
  • and improving practice.

Contents

  • 1.0 Introduction
  •    1.1 Background
  •    1.2 Structure of report
  • 2.0 The heritage sector
  •    2.1 Museums and galleries
  •    2.2 Libraries and archives
  •    2.3 The built historic environment
  •    2.4 Archaeology
  • 3.0 Material decay
  •    3.1 Water
  •    3.2 Inappropriate relative humidity
  •    3.3 Inappropriate temperature
  •    3.4 Light
  •    3.5 Fire damage
  •    3.6 Chemical agents
  •    3.7 Biological agents
  •    3.8 Physical agent
  •    3.9 Summary of material decay management issues
  • 4.0 Gaps in knowledge and practice
  •    4.1 Theme 1 – Understanding material behaviour
  •    4.2 Theme 2 – Understanding environments
  •    4.3 Theme 3 – Improving practice
  • 5.0 Summary conclusions
  •    5.1 Next steps – seeking your views
  • 6.0 References
  • 7.0 Appendix

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed

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