Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Juergen Heinrichs, Ph.D.


climate change, museums, HVAC, humidity, conservation


With mounting pressures to decrease carbon emission and the growing scarcity of funds, museums must look at their current practices. The standards for climate control in museums are based on challenges museums face in the early twentieth century and relied on limited information and technology. As museums begin to face new challenges due to climate change, the old standards must be reevaluated. Most museums rely on a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system to maintain strict set-points, however, such systems are expensive and energy intensive. This limits their availability to small and historical museums that do not have the infrastructure to install them. The current standards are also centered on Western European standards. This thesis will look at the history of climate control in museums and how museums can reduce their dependence on energy-inefficient systems in the face of global climate change.