n.the physical conditions of temperature, air quality, relative humidity, and other factors that exist in immediate proximity to archival records, such as within an envelope, box, film can, exhibit case, or the film of air surrounding the bound volumes on a shelfConway 1990, 207There are four major planning activities in prevention. ¶ Survey the building and microenvironments for variation from standards on temperature, relative humidity, light, dust, gases, and pests . . .Bennett 1999, 2In order for any microenvironment to be successful, it is necessary to monitor it regularly. Use humidity-monitoring strips or a hygrometer to evaluate your microenvironment’s climate.Bigourdan and Reilly 2000, 3Enclosures are used to provide physical protection, but, in a sense, they also create “microenvironments” which may have a positive or negative impact on the stability of film base, primarily by either allowing some ventilation or trapping degradation byproducts.Manning and Kremp 2000, 117It is very simplistic to divide storage neatly into macroenvironment and microenvironment as the two are obviously interconnected. Sometimes the one will be used to combat problems with the other. In the new British Library building, the environmental specification of photographs in the oriental Photographic Store was proving difficult to achieve. . . . Therefore as an interim measure dataloggers were placed inside the store, inside an empty box, and inside a drop-back box which already had photographs in it and the results were compared. The environment within the boxes was stable, compared to the cycling pattern outside. As an interim solution therefore, the photographs will be boxed to create microenvironments until the macroenvironment of the store is solved.CCA 2003, 16The use of protective enclosures is the most common method of providing a more stable microenvironment. Archival document boxes and sealed frames are two examples of enclosures which can provide a more stable microenvironment while providing physical protection and support. These enclosures help to buffer the records from fluctuations in room temperature and relative humidity and keep dust and pollutants out. ¶ A microenviornment can also be created by controlling the climate in one area of the archives at optimum conditions. The most effective space would be an insulated room with its own vapour barrier and climate control system, constructed within the existing archives building.Ritzenthaler 2010, 111The very local environmental conditions that exist within a storage box, exhibit case, or the film of air surrounding a bound volume on an open shelf are also microenvironments.Ritzenthaler 2010, 284An exhibit case functions as a microenvironment within which temperature and relative humidity should approximate conditions in storage areas.Lacher-Feldman 2013, 56Air pollution: Materials should not be placed within exhibit cases that will have the effect of polluting the case micro-environment and/or that might endanger the condition of any of the materials on exhibit within the case.
The term microenvironment and microclimate are often used interchangeably in the archival literature, although microenvironment is often used to describe the phenomenon in which an enclosure holding an item accelerates deterioration of the item by trapping undesirable chemicals in the item’s immediate environment.