KONS2061 – Understanding the indoor climate in museums, galleries and archives

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Environmental monitoring and control is an essential part of preventive conservation. This module will consider environmental agents of deterioration that contribute to the decay and loss of cultural heritage collections.

The course is aimed at students wishing to work within the cultural heritage sector – providing them with a basic understanding of the impact of the indoor climate within museums, galleries and archives and the preservation of objects. It introduces the student to:

  • The nature of relative humidity, temperature, light, pollution and pests
  • The sources of environmental agents of deterioration
  • The type of damage these factors can do to museum collections
  • How to monitor or detect
  • How to prevent or mitigate damage

Learning outcome

On completion of this course, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Recognise environmental agents of deterioration and their impact on museum collections
  • Explain the mechanism by which an agent of deterioration causes harm to museum objects
  • Identify environmental sources of potential damage within the museum environment
  • Use basic environmental monitoring equipment typically owned by museums
  • Assess how changes in environmental conditions effect museum collections
  • Select theoretically appropriate climatic conditions for the safe storage and display of cultural objects
  • Set up and execute a simple experiment


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

There are 25 spots in this course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Recommended previous knowledge

The course assumes a good proficiency in written and oral English.


The course consists of 9 lectures and 5 seminars.

During the course students have to submit 5 short obligatory assignments. Each assignment consists of 10 to 12 questions concerning the definition, calculation and monitoring of relative humidity, temperature, light and pollution levels in museums, galleries and archives.

The question sheets will be published in Canvas. In order to pass the assignment, the student needs to demonstrate that he/she has attempted to answer all questions. Filled out sheets are submitted in Canvas in the dedicated hand-in files. The answers are posted in Canvas app. 1 week after the questions. Dates for submission will be published in the teaching schedule . The assignment needs to be approved in order for the student to sit the exam. Notification of passing is given in Canvas.

The home experiment will be handed out in the first lecture. The results of the home experiment will be written up in a short report and presented at a discussion session at the end of the course.

Once the course requirements have been fulfilled, they remain valid for the current and the two consecutive semesters when the course is given.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


4 hour written exam.

Written examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

Calculator, ruler and dictionaries

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Specific criteria for grading

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who have failed an exam and students who wish to re-take an exam to achieve a better grade may not participate in make-up exams, but can re-take the exam the following semester or when it is regularly scheduled.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The module is part of Bevaring og gjenstandskunnskap 40BEVG. Egne regler gjelder for opptak til emnegruppen.

Facts about this course






Every other spring starting 2009


Every other spring starting 2009

The student can ask to resit the exam the following semester if needed

Teaching language