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Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY 14623-5698)
Andrew Lerwill (Project Director: May 2014 to July 2015)
James M. Reilly (Project Director: July 2015 to September 2017)
Alice Carver-Kubik (Project Director: September 2017 to present)
Jennifer Jae Gutierrez (Co Project Director: September 2017 to present)
Digital Image Correlation to Determine Shape Deformation of Paper-Based Collections due to Relative Humidity and Temperature

An applied research project conducted by the Image Permanence Institute that would define the permissible limits of relative humidity (RH) for rare books and other library and archival materials that are critical for humanities research.

One of the most frequent questions asked by rare book curators and librarians is: "At what RH, especially with respect to dry conditions, does a serious risk of irreversible mechanical stress occur?" Mechanical (physical) damage due to dryness or excessive dampness is the principal reason why special collection materials require controlled environmental conditions. For many years, recommendations have emphasized close control around a target of 45-55% RH. What is not well established from actual experimentation, however, are the practical limits where irreversible damage takes place. This area of research—safe limits for RH—has received considerable attention in the fine and decorative arts, but not for the complex and diverse mechanical structures of bound volumes. To overcome the difficulty of studying mechanical behavior of complex book structures IPI will employ a new technology, Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to dynamically assess expansion and contraction of composite objects.

[White paper]

Project fields:
Arts, Other

Research and Development

Preservation and Access

$399,825 (approved)
$399,825 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2015 – 2/28/2019