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A multidisciplinary approach to the study of cultural heritage environments: Experience at the Palatina Library in Parma

  • Autori: Pasquarella, C; Balocco, C; Pasquariello, G; Petrone, G; Saccani, E; Manotti, P; Ugolotti, M; Palla, F.; Maggi,O; Albertini, R.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2015
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The aim of this paper is to describe a multidisciplinary approach including biological and particlemonitoring, and microclimate analysis associated with the application of the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD). This approach was applied at the Palatina historical library in Parma. Monitoring was performed both in July and in December, in the absence of visitors and operators. Air microbial monitoring was performed with active and passive methods. Airborne particles with a diameter of !0.3, !0.5, !1 and !5 μm/m3, were counted by a laser particle counter. The surface contamination of shelves and manuscripts was assessed with nitrocellulose membranes. A spore trap sampler was used to identify both viable and non-viable fungal spores by optical microscope. Microbiological contaminantswere analyzed through cultural andmolecular biology techniques. Microclimatic parameters were also recorded. An infrared thermal camera provided information on the surface temperature of the different building materials, objects and components. Transient simulation models, for coupled heat and massmoisture transfer, taking into account archivist and general public movements, combined with the related sensible and latent heat released into the environment, were carried out applying the CFD-FE (Finite Elements) method. Simulations of particle tracing were carried out. A wide variability in environmental microbial contamination, both for air and surfaces, was observed. Cladosporium spp., Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp., and Penicillium spp. were the most frequently found microfungi. Bacteria such as Streptomyces spp., Bacillus spp., Sphingomonas spp., and Pseudoclavibacter as well as unculturable colonies were characterized by molecular investigation. CFD simulation results obtained were consistent with the experimental data on microclimatic conditions. The tracing and distribution of particles showed the different slice planes of diffusion mostly influenced by the convective airflow. This interdisciplinary research represents a contribution towards the definition of standardized methods for assessing the biological and microclimatic quality of indoor cultural heritage environments.