New European collections standard – deadline for comments approaches

Museums and heritage professionals are being asked to comment on a new European Standard on collections management, which is to be published at the end of 2016

New Sites and Buildings Intended for the Storage and Use of Collections is to replace the existing standards – BS/PD 5454: 2012 Guide for the Storage and Exhibition of Archive Materials and PAS 198: 2012 Specification for Managing Environmental Conditions for Cultural Collections – and will cover all collecting institutions, applying to all museums and galleries, archives and libraries.

This will be a full standard, not just a guide, – 5454 was issued as a guide rather than a full standard as the new guide was developed – so new buildings in particular will be expected to meet its specifications to claim compliance.

The standard applies also to building improvements projects in existing structures and can be used as a guide for those working in historic buildings or wishing to review their current provision.

It does not include requirements for specific humidity (RH) and temperature ranges for collection materials but does set out what measures should be taken to ensure these are safe, along with fire, security, construction, shelving and other features that are needed specifically for collections.

To comment go to the the National Conservation Service website and download the pdf and comment template and send to Jonathan Rhys-Lewis, NCS associate at [email protected].

Comments must be received by 4 September, which will then be forwarded to the European Committee for Standardisation.