Stored Alive!

Can the Objects in Your Collection Survive Their Environment?

Stored Alive ObjectsStored Alive! is an interactive tutorial program that lets you explore the ways in which temperature and relative humidity affect the objects in your collection. It's based on environmental analysis done with IPI's Climate Notebook software, which, in turn, is built upon data from IPI's extensive research into the relationship between storage conditions and the decay of organic materials.

How It Works

Stored Alive! offers five hypothetical storage spaces for investigation, each having unique environmental characteristics: an attic, a parlor, a basement, a barn, and a gallery. Roll your mouse over a space's corresponding image to display a brief environmental description and a pair of graphs showing a year's worth of temperature and humidity data for that space.

Stored Alive Screenshot

After you click on an image to select a space, you are presented with a variety of objects representing materials typically found in collections: an oil painting, a color photograph, a porcelain vase, books, an antique iron, and a wooden table. Click and drag any or all of these into your space.

Stored Alive Screenshot

With another mouse click fifty years fly by, and the program supplies information about how each object might fare in the conditions of the storage space you have chosen.

Stored Alive Screenshot

Using Stored Alive! for Teaching and Workshops

Use Stored Alive! as an interactive teaching tool in your workshops and classes on preservation. It illustrates and explains the three major categories of decay in cultural property—chemical, biological, and mechanical. It shows how storage conditions act to promote or retard decay through these three mechanisms. For example, damp conditions lead to mold growth and faster chemical change and can cause swelling and deformation in susceptible materials. Each storage environment (the attic, the parlor, the barn, etc.) has been chosen to illustrate different aspects of the interaction between environment and collections.

How to Get Your Copy

Stored Alive! can be run from the web or installed on your local hard drive. To install, download and unzip the file using WinZip® or a similar application. After unzipping, click on Start/Programs/Stored Alive/Stored Alive to launch the program. The file will run on any web browser that includes the Macromedia Flash plug-in, version 5.0 or later. Make as many copies of Stored Alive! as you like and distribute them freely.

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Stored Alive was created by Dr. Elizabeth Goins at RIT with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.