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Preserving Museum Artefacts

Temperature and Humidity Monitoring in Antwerp

Antwerp, a popular tourist destination in the Flanders region of Belgium, is home to many significant historic and contemporary attractions, including the former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens, The Rubens House, and Antwerp’s newest and largest museum, the MAS. Overseeing the operations of these and all other heritage sites in Antwerp is the Museums and Heritage Association, who as well as running these attractions also takes responsibility for the restoration and storage of their collections.

The problem

In total, the association manages over 800,000 artefacts, 1.46 million books and around 9,500 archives, located in multiple sites, collections and storage areas across the city. Fluctuations in the temperature and humidity of many of these precious artefacts threaten their condition and so many are housed in strictly controlled environments where day to day monitoring is essential to ensure their long term preservation.

While the Association has used multiple stand-alone loggers and analogue thermo-hygrograph sensors to monitor conditions in the past, the number of locations, large number of staff needed for each data collection and different data collection tools meant data collected was frequently inaccurate, out of date or provided in multiple formats. It was this inefficiency that prompted the Association to start looking into alternative options.

The solution

What they found were Corintech’s EL-WiFi temperature and humidity sensors and accompanying FilesThruTheAir Cloud storage service. Investing in 50 EL-WiFi-TH+ sensors, they quickly deployed the loggers across various sites in the city, each capturing data every six hours, on a 24/7 basis and feeding that information into the Cloud site.

The net result is a single, remote data hub, viewable at any time of the day from a PC, tablet or phone showing all of the loggers and the data they collect. As well as providing ongoing temperature and humidity data, the Cloud also sends automated email and SMS alerts to specific individuals when those parameters go out of range.


FilesThruTheAir sensors provide the Museums and Heritage Association with consistent, continual monitoring of temperature and humidity levels throughout multiple sites at a lower cost than many of the previously employed devices. This lower cost has allowed the Association to deploy more sensors than it had previously, extending their monitoring reach without a major systems overhaul.

Instant notification of problems means the Association can act much faster, should there be an issue. Staff within the museums are no longer required to go to each area in turn to collect data from each sensor and data is collected in a single, central hub.

“It was a great surprise to encounter FilesThruTheAir wireless sensors. They are a reliable system that is suited to monitoring the conditions we control throughout our museums. We are extremely happy with the results so far and hope to expand the use of the FilesThruTheAir system across more of our museums.” Fred Verbeeck, Coordinator of Climate Control at Musea en Erfgoed Antwerpen (Museums and Heritage)

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