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Grant number: PF-50409-13

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PF-50409-13

Historic Charleston Foundation (Charleston, SC 29402-1120)
Brandy Culp (Project Director: 12/13/2012 to 03/10/2016)
Lauren Northup (Project Director: 03/10/2016 to present)

Climate Assessment for the Aiken-Rhett House Museum Collection

A yearlong planning project to provide for a sustainable means of managing the interior environment of the Aiken-Rhett House Museum for the long-term preservation of the collections and the historic interior finishes. The Aiken-Rhett House, c. 1820, managed by the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF), is a rare example of a nearly intact, 19th-century urban townhouse complex, containing original objects and finishes in the main house and dependency buildings. The proposed study would use targeted monitoring techniques to measure temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, and air speed throughout the house. The resulting information would provide key insights into the deterioration of the architectural fabric of the house and the exhibited collections. The planning team would provide recommendations for more effective light control (guidelines for operating window shades, windows, and doors), natural ventilation, and minimal heating, as well as improvements to existing pest control protocols and periodic dehumidification.

Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) is seeking a Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collection Planning Grant in the amount of $40,000 to develop a comprehensive plan for providing a sustainable means of managing the interior environment of the Aiken-Rhett House Museum for the longevity of the collections and the historic interior finishes. This project will enable HCF to better understand and eventually mitigate the direct effects of climate on the condition of the collection and historic finishes at the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. It is necessary to further study current conditions and strategically plan sustainable, low-impact methods of intervention in order to better manage the interior environment and preserve the collection.

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Project fields:
Museum Studies or Historical Preservation

Program:
Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
11/1/2013 – 5/31/2016