Environmental guidelines: an interim position

The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) has released interim temperature and relative humidity guidelines for the storage and display of general collection material.

The environmental guidelines have been under review for some time in attempt to ease the environmental impact and the real budget costs on institutions in conforming to tightly controlled collection storage and display conditions.

It is anticipated that more relaxed guidelines will facilitate loans to smaller organisations that have previously been unable to meet environmental requirements as part of loan agreements.

The interim position is a result of global consultation between professional conservation groups including the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), the International Institute for Conservation (IIC) and the Bizot Group.

The document acknowledges that some collections require different or tighter conditions. Specific temperature, relative humidity, light levels, air-flow, and other conditions requirements for sensitive or fragile collections and for collections on loan should be determined in consultation with a professional conservator.


The AICCM recommended Interim temperature and relative humidity guidelines for acceptable storage and display conditions of general collection material are:

  • Temperature – between 15–25°C with allowable fluctuations of +/-4°C per 24 hr.
  • Relative Humidity – between 45-55% with an allowable fluctuation of +/- 5% per 24 hr.
  • Where storage and display environments experience seasonal drift, RH change to be managed gradually across a wider range limited to 40% – 60%.


Need more information? Read about the background to the existing guidelines.