Going archivally green: implications of doing it naturally in Southern Africanarchives and libraries

Sandra Rowoldt

Abstract


The conservation and preservation of archival and library materials is the concern of all those engaged in these professions. Considerable research has been conducted into ways in which archival and library materials may be conserved using structural rather than artificial means to control the environment. Piet Westra, former Director of the South African Library, initiated a wave of new thinking in this country when he invited Dr Helmut Bansa, Head of Conservation in the Bavarian State Library, Munich, to South Africa in November 1986. Dr Bansa's arguments in favour of the adoption of 'natural' methods of air-conditioning in libraries and archives (often referred to as the Cologne or Stehkiimper model) stimulated the writer to explore the model further, particularly as it might be applied under local conditions. This article traces the development of research into the Cologne or Stehkiimper model, its application in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Israel and promotes its adoption in the southern African context.

Die bewaring en preservering van argiefmateriaal is belangrik vir almal betrokke by hierdie professies. Heelwat navorsing is gedoen ten opsigte van maniere waarop argief- en biblioteekmateriaal bewaar kan word deur strukturele eerder as kunsmatige maniere om die omgewing te beheer. Piet Westra, voormalige Direkteur van die Suid-Afikaanse Biblioteek, het 'n nuwe denkproses in Suid-Afrika gei'nisieer toe hy dr Helmut Bansa, Hoof van Bewaring van die Bavariese Staatsbiblioteek, Munchen, in November 1986 hierheen genooi het. Dr Bansa se betoog ten gunste van die aanvaarding van 'natuurlike' metodes van lugreeling in biblioteke en argiewe (daar word dikwels daarna verwys as die Cologne of Stehkiimper model) het die outeur gestimuleer om die model verder te ondersoek, veral hoe dit in plaaslike omstandighede toegepas kon word. In hierdie artikel word gekyk na die navorsingsontwikkeling oor die Cologne of Stehkiimper model, die toepassing daarvan in lande soos Duitsland, die Nederlande en Israel en word die aanvaarding daarvan in Suid- Afrikaanse konteks gepropageer.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/66-4-1425

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