William P. Lull
The Pinkney House is typical for many of the historic structures at the Kern County Museum. It has problems with particulate and gaseous contamination, and lighting problems. Typical “environmental controls” of heating, cooling, humidification and dehumidification were ruled out, based on the priorities identified for the collection as recommended by the conservator, and the prospects of the high capital and operating costs of treating over thirty such structures at the museum.
Since the environment within the house is not occupied, only viewed by visitors from outside, an innovative approach was used to improve the conservation environment within. First, the building was sealed to prevent entry of particulate and gaseous contaminants. Second, an air filtration system was installed to remove particulate and gaseous contamination from the circulated air, and to introduce a small amount of filtered outside air for pressurization. Third, the display cleaning program was improved to include a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate filter.
The Pinkney House improvements were developed as a prototype to identify effective solutions for roughly thirty other such structures at the Museum.
The paper presents details of the improvements, with before and after observations for particulate and gaseous contamination. The paper also discusses measures to consider for further work and investigation.